EuroClio features in a brand new Compendium on inclusive education

Joke Van der Leeuw-Roord EUROCLIO , ,

Are you interested in inspiring opportunities for inclusive education? The brand new European Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Inclusive and Citizenship Education contains a wealth of ideas how to approach this issue. The Compendium addresses almost 190 national and international examples in five themes: fostering social, civic and intercultural competences, enhancing critical thinking and media literacy, supporting disadvantaged learners and promoting intercultural dialogue and last but not least European history education. Several practices are crosscutting and therefore you can for example find the work of the Cypriot Home for Cooperation, ran the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research, a EuroClio Member organisation, under the theme fostering social, civic and intercultural competences.

This easy to navigate tool is brought together by the members of the European Training 2020 Working Group on Common Values and Inclusive Education over the period 2016-2020. It aims to support practitioners and policymakers to improve the inclusiveness of education and training systems across the EU. The inspiring practices come from Member States and Candidate countries, as well as from relevant EU agencies, stakeholder associations, social partners and international organisations. The ideas were presented during Working Group meetings in Brussels and Peer Learning Activities hosted by different Working Group members in the participating countries.

European history education is the fifth theme in the Compendium and it contains 11 examples of good work carried out by international and national civil society organisations. You can find work by the EuroClio Community such as In Europe Schools, Historiana and the Training Programme for History Teachers in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The House of European History presents its programme Learn about the EU in 12 steps and the Centre for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe is present with the Joint History project.

All material is presented in small abstracts as well as a full description of the practice, the latter rich with links and references. An international editors group was responsible for collecting and portraying these practical examples, among them Joke van der Leeuw-Roord, EuroClio Founder and special Advisor. She was also asked to compose the thematic fiche responsible Building Bridges through Inclusive and Cross-border History Education by the same ET 2020 working group.

 

In Europe Schools: Small Narratives for European Integration

Giulia Verdini Articles ,

On February 26th, EuroClio’s Eugenie Khatschatrian and VPRO’S Odette Toeset sat down with Robin de Bruin of the Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES). The discussion, hosted by the European Cultural Foundation, shed light on the precious outcomes of In Europe Schools, its relevance in building European cooperation and citizenship and, perhaps, in contributing to a new, inclusive and diversified narrative(s) for Europe.

 In Europe Schools is a unique online project that encourages a transnational approach of teaching Modern European History and focuses on the development of research skills and media literacy through documentary-making. More than 110 schools from 30 different countries have joined us so far!  

Why "In Europe Schools"?

The Community Conversation event started off with a brief explanation about how the project came to life. In 2007, Dutch broadcasting company VPRO released the ‘’In Europe’’ television series in the Netherlands on the modern history of Europe, from WWII until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Perhaps unexpectedly, the series turned out to be a source of inspiration for some Dutch history teachers. In fact, they asked whether it was possible to develop educational resources based on the series. In a way, the project represents the natural “evolution” of the series, but most importantly, it started because of a concrete demand - real needs of teachers who were struggling with teaching sensitive and controversial issues in the classroom. In 2018, a second series of the documentary was released, this time dealing with very recent history - from 1989 onwards: the series was subtitled “History Caught in the Act”. 

Catching history in the act is indeed what In Europe Schools is all about. VPRO joined forces with EuroClio with the main goal to connect youngsters working together, focusing on history whilst they are in the midst of it, and ultimately have united European youngsters. In a few words, the project requires that two European schools partner up: secondary school students do research and film their recent history; they exchange the documentary and discuss the outcome. In Europe Schools therefore enables multiperspectivity by matching schools from different parts of Europe and approaches European history from a transnational perspective. It facilitates a European network of teachers and students, and by doing so, it also more broadly encourages European cooperation.

An overview of EU’s Grand Narrative(s) and its Crises

During the discussion, Robin de Bruin asserted multiple times that the genius of this project is that it is a grassroots project, especially in a time of unprecedented crisis due to the pandemic and in which the European Union might not appear as strong as it used to.

The EU created its Grand Narrative after 1945: after WWII, the grand narrative of European integration as a peace project for the member states was building peace by creating welfare - a narrative which De Bruin, hereby following his colleague Wolfram Kaiser, refers to as “peace through a common market’’ narrative (Kaiser 368).

That the horrors of Auschwitz have become the key experience for European history-writing is a common opinion, and for some historians it represents the creation of a foundational past since 1945. This led to two outcomes: on the one hand, the memory of WWII was perceived as the memory par excellence; on the other hand, it led to neglecting the histories of other parts of Europe, the experiences of colonialism and imperialism. Colonialism and postcolonial resentment were indeed excluded from European history, and only recently they have received renewed attention.

European integration history has now the aim of trying to heal the division of Eastern and Western histories by constructing a common past that also contemplates the experience of communism - and consequently the aim of dismantling Eurocentrism, seen as conscious or unconscious tendency to judge histories from all over the world by taking Western history as the norm and role model to follow. In the twenty-first century, Eurocentrism remains powerful both at seen and unseen levels and affects contemporary politics and international affairs.

Michael Wintle argues that the Holocaust started a process in which Europe has gradually become willing to confront its problematic past: European countries have started to face their past crimes and more openly address slavery, imperialism, colonialism, and also the post-Yugoslav conflicts of the 1990s. In Europe Schools includes an Education Kit on Difficult History that deals with such topics and one of the main challenges both teachers and students face is how to critically address these sensitive issues and confront strong opinions.

Nowadays, the narrative of building peace through a common market narrative does not seem to appeal anymore, especially to younger generations. To counter Euroscepticism, the EU has started several initiatives to develop a new narrative for the European integration project. Dr De Bruin mentioned the “House of European History” in Brussels, which was created to include the communist experience of the Eastern European states into the grand narrative of European integration. Nevertheless, according to Dr De Bruin, it left out all other kinds of experiences, such as the colonial experience of former colonial subjects now living in Europe:

 When you include specific parts of the population, you also exclude other parts of the population. This is always the problem with the grand narratives of European integration. It’s really very important that a new narrative for Europe is a collection of those small little narratives, such as the personal narratives of the In Europe Schools project. Robin de Bruin

The force of In Europe Schools lies in the fact that it deals with a variety of small histories, and it’s precisely by starting from personal histories that perspectives and experiences can add up and become something powerful. 

When a grand narrative is replaced by another grand narrative, it is always fed by smaller narratives that at a certain moment become an avalanche.

Dealing with counter narratives: the implications of media literacy

The In Europe Schools toolkits are about controversial topics - difficult history, migration, climate change and gender equality - and sometimes it is difficult to introduce such topics to the classrooms, either because they are too abstract and students might not feel concerned, or because they are afraid to take a stand and they do not feel comfortable about expressing their own opinion. Pupils are encouraged to take their difficult histories into the classroom, which can be seen as a microcosmos of Europe. As students come from different parts of Europe (or even different parts of the world) within the same classroom, they might have different views of the European Union and perceive topics differently such as migration or climate change. The main challenge for teachers is to promote a discussion in a context not of hatred and intolerance, but open-mindedness and inclusion. Despite monitoring strong statements and potential fake news, the project does not give a clear political direction and it does not exclude any story. The project therefore covers a wide spectrum of personal narratives and collects authentic stories, yet stories that people have the power to tell in the way they want to - thanks to storytelling and media literacy.

We don’t give political directions because it’s interesting to have different opinions. People who are against migration are allowed to make their own story on migration. But of course, there is a limit. We chose not to have the comments open because with comments open it could explode and it’s really difficult to oversee it. Odette Toeset

So far, there haven’t been clashes in the classrooms while working on the project. The main source of discomfort has rather been the question of how to protect people (for example family members) who would like to share their story but fear dangerous consequences. People are hesitant to show themselves on camera and do not want the video to be published on the Internet. Odette mentioned that as a documentary-maker, you don’t want to lose the story and at the same time you want to protect these people and ensure their safety. So how do you tell a story in a documentary without putting people, potentially, in danger? Timelapse and drawing can help anonymise a story, the video-maker can make sure that people are not recognizable in the video or just decide to leave out the actual people to tell a more generic story.

When students are done with the documentaries, they upload the video on YouTube. The use of media literacy, which may be the main strength of the project, can also represent a risk: the YouTube channel has to be monitored, as it is a potential open space on which all kinds of content can be uploaded. In order to avoid conflicts, VPRO chose not to have the comment section open.

Building European citizens?

It is clear that the project might have interesting implications in creating a European identity - a sense of belonging and personal identification with Europe. When asked whether they have the feeling of helping building European citizens, Odette replied:

These youngsters are the next European citizens that have to vote, be part of Europe and work together, and working together will be much more important in the future. We see now with Covid that there is a clash between national interests and European interests, but you can’t do without each other. We want to give people the open space to face cooperation themselves and not forcing it onto them. Odette Toeset

In Europe Schools requires students and teachers to fill out a survey - both in the beginning and in the end - in which there are questions about being European and how their awareness on certain topics has changed, but also about the use of media literacy and their perception of collaboration. 

In 2015, Wilfried Loth was writing that “European identity will therefore not simply replace national identity in the foreseeable future. Instead, what seems to be emerging is that people in Europe are living with a multilayered identity, an identity in which regional, national, and European aspects are united.” (Loth 437). Whilst the cultural form of the EU aimed to create a European identity that rests on the premise that Europe has a single, shared culture, In Europe Schools acknowledges that this is not always the case.

European culture is plural, in flux and contested; it does not rest on a shared history (...) National cultures or even a European culture may exist in perception, but that does not make us all the same. Europe and European culture are discourses, with many voices, including some from outside the conventional borders, and those of newcomers from ex-colonies and elsewhere.” (Wintle 248-249).

Students are working on their own personal narratives, but are also very excited about cooperating with other European students and, in this sense, might feel part of a European narrative. Pupils are in general super excited about filming: they are using this project instead of going out on a school trip, and thus to discover different European cultures and viewpoints. The sense of collaboration is really important: for example, two schools decided to join their forces, partner up students with the partner school and make the documentary together. 

  On the long term, the project aims at maintaining the European connection: ideally schools would continue working together to keep a European network of both students and teachers.Eugenie Khatschatrian

Bibliography - and suggested readings!

Appelqvist, Örjan. “Rediscovering uncertainty: early attempts at a panEuropean post-war recovery”. Cold War History. Vol. 8, No. 3. Routledge (pp. 327–352), 2008.

Brolsma, M., de Bruin, R., Lok, M. Eurocentrism in European History and Memory. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019.

FitzGibbon, J., Leruth, B., Startin, N. Euroscepticism as a Transnational and Pan-European Phenomenon : The Emergence of a New Sphere of Opposition. Routledge, 2016.

Kaiser, W. “Clash of Cultures: Two Milieus in the European Union's. ‘A New Narrative for Europe’ Project”. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3 (pp. 364-377), 2015.

Loth, W. Building Europe. Berlin, München, Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2015.

Sorrels, K. Cosmopolitan Outsiders: Imperial Inclusion, National Exclusion, and the Pan-European Idea, 1900-1930. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Van Meurs, W. et al. The Unfinished History of European Integration. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018.

Wintle, M. Eurocentrism: History, Identity, White Man’s Burden. Routledge, 2020.

Join the project

Check out In Europe Schools’ website and YouTube Channel

Contact us via eugenie@euroclio.eu or register via this form

Toolkits: 

Learn More

If you are interested in how to decolonise history, please read our blog post and join our webinar series from 16 April to 21 May 2021

You can subscribe to future Community Conversations at http://eepurl.com/haj679 

In Europe Schools: Documentary-Making and Online Exchange for European Schools

The second half of 2019  marked the start of a new and unique partnership between EuroClio and Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO for the development of educational resources on modern European history. Inspired by the VPRO-television series In Europe - History Caught in the Act, presented by Dutch best-selling author Geert Mak, EuroClio, VPRO and a team of enthusiastic authors joined their forces for the making of In Europe Schools: An online exchange project for European schools, in which students research and film their own local histories and exchange their documentaries with peers from their partner school anywhere in Europe. The project offers Education Kits on four main themes of modern European history: Difficult History, Migration, Climate Change and Gender Equality. 

But how to ‘catch history in the act’? Each Kit challenges students to critically think and reflect on complex historical events and their impact on our societies nowadays and even on our daily lives, while also encouraging the development of a variety of skills like conducting research and interviewing as well as skills and competencies related to documentary-making and overall media literacy. All topics are introduced through Starter Clips and students are guided by a central research question, for example, How should we deal with a difficult past? or How should we respond to gender inequality?

Once students have acquired an in-depth understanding of the topics, they are ready to dive into their local histories of Migration, into local Change Makers in the struggle against Climate Change or perhaps into their own experiences of gender inequality. Their findings, stories and research outcomes will then result in self-made documentaries to be exchanged and discussed with students across Europe to reflect on how similar topics and events are experienced from different perspectives, encouraging the approach of teaching and learning European history from a transnational perspective, strengthening multiperspectivity. 

Each Education Kit consists of both ready-made teacher and student materials, accompanied by Tutorials on Research, Interviewing, Editing, Filming and Uploading, helping the students with the making of their documentaries. All Kits are comprised of four steps: 

Step 1: Introducing the project and topic                           (50 minutes)

Step 2: Learning more about the context and topic         (100 minutes)

Step 3: Research and creation of the documentary         (200 minutes, mostly homework)

Step 4: Sharing the videos and reflection                          (90 minutes) 

You can download the PDF of each Education Kit below or go directly to the teachers’ and student materials:  

                                

Difficult History - PDF                                                              Migration - PDF             

Difficult History - Teachers & Students                                Migration - Teachers & Students 

Difficult History - Starter Clip                                                 Migration - Starter Clip    

                               

Climate Change - PDF                                                             Gender Equality - PDF 

Climate Change - Teachers & Students                               Gender Equality - Students & Teachers 

Climate Change - Starter Clip                                                Gender Equality - Starter Clip 

 

You can download the Introduction Clip and all the Tutorials below: 

Introduction Clip 

Tutorial Research

Tutorial Research (Extended)

Tutorial Interviewing

Tutorial Filming

Tutorial Editing

Tutorial Uploading 

Tutorial @Home (Lockdown Tutorial)

All the materials are also available on www.vprobroadcast.com/ineuropeschools and the In Europe Schools YouTube Channel. For the latest news and information on this project, have a look at the Project Page

 

Project Leader: Odette Toeset (VPRO)

Authors: Harri Beobide, Daniel Bernsen, Marian Heesen, Steven Stegers and Odette Toeset

 

Project led and initiated by: 

Funded by:

                        

In Europe Schools: Join in November!

Have you missed the start of In Europe Schools in October? No worries! You still have time to register for a start in November.

Register here, and choose one out of four Education Kits: Difficult History, Migration, Climate Change and Gender Equality. We will match you to another school in Europe and you and your students will be ready to work on their research and documentaries.

Curious how the documentaries look like? Have a look at the In Europe Schools YouTube Channel.

For a full overview of the project, please visit: www.vprobroadcast.com/ineuropeschools or contact us via secretariat@euroclio.eu. See you soon! 

The case for teaching the history of the European Integration

Veronika Budaiová Association

The EuroClio thematic seminar on ‘Teaching European Integration” held at the House of European History on 22-24 November 2019 was opened by a keynote lecture from Liesbeth van de Grift*, Associate Professor History of International Relations at Utrecht University. She focused on the theme ‘The case for teaching the history of European integration’, and in particular on the guiding question:

  • Why is it important to teach the history of European integration?
  • What are potential challenges and obstacles when teaching the history of European integration?
  • What are possible ways forward?

During the interactive lecture, some teachers that were participating to the seminar underlined that they find it hard to include European Integration into the curricula, whereas some teachers said that they already teach about it. Liesbeth pointed out that one of the best ways to bring European Integration to the classroom is to show the impact of the European Union on our daily lives. Nowadays, every aspect of everyday life is subject to regulations, many of which were created by the EU to guarantee a common standard in all Member States.

For example, you wake up and brush your teeth with water that comes from pipes, and you know the water is not harmful to you because of EU regulations. Then, you might want to eat an apple, or a mandarin, and you can be reasonably sure that it was not subject to more pesticides than the limit set by the EU, and so on.

Furthermore, she continued, in all Member States people have a varying knowledge of the EU and its history. The role of teachers is especially important in this circumstances. It is only by learning about the history of European Integration, its relevance, and the functioning of the Union, that children will be able to form an opinion on their future.

 

The main question, thus, becomes “What do teachers perceive as important information to know about, when talking of the EU integration?”. This question has many different responses. The traditional one would be “high politics” (treaties, summits, or resolutions), focusing more on material interests than ideals. Other answers can be looking at the impact of the EU on everyday life, as Liesbeth explained in her introduction, or by showing successes and failures of the EU on the International Stage, as Helen Snelson suggested in another session of the teaching seminar.

 

The last part of the lecture was dedicated to the discussion of materials which participants are using in their classrooms or what they plan to use. Some participants said that they did not use particular material at the moment, but that they realized the importance of showing the influence of EU on everyday life. Some teachers, on the other hand, teach about EU integration when discussing the nature of democracy, while some others do simulations of elections to the European Parliament in their classrooms for the same purpose.

The main conclusion of the lecture was that teaching about European Integration is a multi-faceted, and not easy, task. There are a variety of approaches and instruments that can be used in doing so. Throughout the thematic seminar, participants got to know some of them.

 

Read more about the seminar in this article.

 

*Liesbeth van de Grift, Associate Professor History of International Relations at Utrecht University, specializes in the history of political representation in Europe. She leads a research project on the role of societal actors, such as consumer groups and environmental organisations, in the history of European integration. She is one of the authors of the textbook on European integration history The Unfinished History of European Integration (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) written for bachelor’s and master’s students.

 

Teaching European Integration. How and Why? – memories from an inspiring training

Veronika Budaiová Association

The thematic seminar on “Teaching European Integration. How and Why?” took place from 22 to 24 November 2019 at the House of European History in Brussels, Belgium. It was organised by EuroClio in collaboration with the House of European History with the aim of introducing new methods to teach about European Integration.

The programme was built around active workshops where new materials were introduced and participants had a chance to exchange their experiences.

The seminar started with words of welcome from EuroClio Executive Director Steven Stegers, from the Head of the House of European History Constanze Itzel, and the Head of the Learning and Outreach Department at the House of European History Ewa Goodman. Then, the programme continued with a keynote lecture by Liesbeth van de Grift making the case for teaching European Integration. The lecture focused on the strategies that participants to the seminar already use when it comes to Teaching European integration. Then, participants dived right into the first possible teaching method: a visit to the permanent exhibition of the House of European History, using the activity sheet for schools. This was followed by a walking tour of the European neighborhood.

The second day of the seminar consisted of a series of active workshops. Helen Snelson, member of the Historiana Teaching and Learning Team, hosted two workshops with materials taken from Historiana.eu. First, she introduced several strategies and activities of teaching EU history. In particular, she put the EU in its broader historical context, showing participants how to connect it to the bigger picture of the history of the European Continent from 1648 (Westphalian Peace) to today. In doing so, Helen introduced also a series of concepts that related to conflict management, and that students might find hard to approach. The activity she used is available at this link. Going further in detail, she tackled the question ‘What makes it possible for Europe to work together and operate as a global power and what are the criteria?’, where she presented examples of successful and unsuccessful cooperation between EU countries, in an effort of establishing what are the features of successful cooperation and global power.

Laurence Bragard introduced the different activities developed by the House of European History. She focused on an activity about the Elections of the European Parliament, in which students analyze the 1979 campaign for the first elections of the EP, comparing it with posters and social media campaign from 2019. This inspiring activity, in which students are gradually introduced to the concept of representative democracy within the EU, is available for free on the website of the House of European History.

Finally, participants had a sneak preview of the toolkit on “how can we best deal with migration?”, developed as part of the VPRO-led project “In Europe at School”. This toolkit makes use of clips from the TV series “In Europe Now” to teach about migration movements in Europe, and to promote critical thinking in students. At the end of the activities of the toolkit, students make their own mini-documentary on the topic of migration. The material was received well by all participants, who suggested new ways of using and improving the toolkit and expressed their interest in the results of the project.

The last day of training kicked off at European Parlamentarium, where participants tried Role-Play Game designed for high school students. There, they had a chance to become Members of the European Parliament and negotiate two (mock) directives. It was an interesting activity, which ask everyone to exit from their comfort zone and take part in debates, journalists’ interviews, lobby missions, and working group meetings.

Finally, Laurence moderated a workshop on identity, and on how people construct their identity. This is a rather sensitive concept, difficult for students of primary or secondary schools to grasp. The activity developed by the House of European History presents a series of step-by-step exercises that guide teachers and students in exploring their own identity(ies), how are identities constructed, and how are identities used to build narratives of inclusion/exclusion.

All in all, the seminar was a successful and inspiring training, where participants from all across Europe got to know about new instruments to teach about the European Integration, and shared their own experiences, challenges, and solutions to a problem, how to interest pupils in EU integration and high politics, that was shared by them all.

We would like to thank all the people that participated to the seminar, as well as the speakers: Laurence Bragard, Helen Snelson, Daniel Bernsen. A great thanks goes to the House of European History and all its staff for co-organizing the seminar and giving us the opportunity of visiting their inspiring permanent and temporary exhibitions.

“Sharing European Histories” Kicks-Off in Gdansk

From April 5-7, the Kick-off meeting for the Sharing European Histories Project was held in parallel to the Annual Conference in Gdansk. EuroClio partnered with the Evens Foundation on this project because both organizations believe that opening up a space to engage with the dissonant and often conflicting nature of European history is the first step in discovering common positions or overcoming divisions while acknowledging existing differences. On behalf of the Evens Foundation, Chairwoman Monique Canto-Sperber welcomed participants to the conference during the opening cermony, introducing the Sharing European Histories project.

The Sharing European Histories Project aims to inspire and support history educators across Europe since we find that history educators are uniquely positioned to engage young people in confronting the dominant national narratives of history to overcome the divisions between nations and cultures.Back in September 2018 EuroClio and Evens Foundation put out a call for applicants; from over 70 applications received, two project partner organizations and five individual contributors were selected to join the Sharing European Histories project team. Rounding out the project team are two teacher trainers, Richard Kennett and Iryna Kostyuk, who will work with the individual contributors to help them develop their projects.

During the kick-off meeting all the team members had an opportunity to introduce their project ideas. Individual contributor, Helen Snelson, from the UK, shared her proposal for an oral history collection on how people around Europe experienced the end of cold war. Gentian Dedja, from Albania, proposed a practice that explores local historical heroes in cross border contexts to demonstrate how historical figures can surpass national prejudices. Elisabete Pereira, from Portugal, proposed a study of the hidden history of objects that explores the life cycle of their development and circulation around Europe and the globe. Presented in workshop at the Annual Conference, Juan Carlos Ocana, from Spain shared his proposal for actives that help history and citizenship educators confront the complex issues of Jihadist terrorism and the rise of the radical right in Europe in their classroom. In another workshop Joanna Wojdon, from Poland, demonstrated her proposed resource which explores how the historical thinking concept of continuity and change in historical events and processes changes perception depending on different perspectives.

Our project partners also shared their proposed projects with conference members during the Marketplace of Ideas. Sonja de Leeuw from EUscreen in partnership with Maja Drabczyk from National Film Archive-Audio Visual Institute, Poland (FINA) and Karolina Dziełak from the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity (ENRS), shared their project proposal to develop interactive learning activates which explore migration in Europe using EUscreen’s large collection of digitized audio-visual sources. From the Croatian History Teacher’s Association (HUNP), Vedran Ristic shared the proposal for a project to investigate local material heritage and the personal stories connected to these materials from a contemporary global perspective.

The team decided that the individual contributors will spend the next year working with the teacher trainers to create a set of unified teaching strategies that form the basis of their proposed projects. These strategies will be peer-reviews and published on Historiana so teachers from across the globe can use them to teach history in a way that respects diversity, counters nationalist narratives, and promotes a critical enquiry about the past. Additionally, the individual contributors and project partners will be sharing the outcome of their proposed projects next year at the EuroClio Annual Conference 2020 in Serbia. Keep an eye out for further updates on this exciting project!

Fifth of the series of national trainings in Czech Republic: Let’s teach about the EU!

As part of the Decisions and Dilemmas 3: making learning about the EU motivating and meaningful project, the fifth national training event was held in Prague, the Czech Republic, on 14 and 15 June 2018. The training had as its title “We study and teach – EU” (Učíme (se) o Evropské Unii).

The training kicked off in the afternoon of Thursday 14 June. Following an introduction, the first workshop was called “How do we teach about the EU?” Discussions were held with the participants concerning how to approach the topic of the EU, and what teachers and students think about this subject in the classroom. The argument was made that extensive material exists to assist teachers on the subject, and this raises the question as to why teaching about the EU is still such a hot topic.

Next, Eva Zajícová addressed the need to discuss the approach of the EU as a subject in schools, and subsequently she gave an overview of some of EuroClio’s previous projects and results while explaining the Historiana website. In the light of Historiana’s database, many participants expressed that the usage of English materials does not pose a problem for them. However, others exclaimed that there is the possibility of a language barrier. That is mainly why ‘Decisions and Dilemmas 3’ aims to provide teaching materials about the EU in several languages. These materials can be downloaded from Historiana’s website and adapted to the teacher’s and student’s needs.

Participants proposed to introduce EU teaching in primary schools at an earlier stage, in this way including younger pupils, and by means of incorporating the topic into projects. The classical way of teaching is rather dry and not effective, participants argued, and thus other, innovative, ways of teaching about the EU should be used. Finding “real” situations, speaking about values, and addressing relationships were examples mentioned in the session. Even the usage of an internet game was mentioned but this gadget has to be revised and updated in order to be used as an educative tool in teaching pupils about the EU.

Jiří Beneš led the next workshop on “Opening up Europe’s borders”. The participants were very enthusiastic about this workshop, as it provided a short game that encourages participants to reflect on their own background in relation to bigger social issues. Participants had to imagine the map of the Czech Republic and find the position of the town where they came from. Then, participants had to change positions to the location where their family is from and in this trend reflect on the topic of migration – were your parents/grandparents immigrants? Czech newspapers were used to complement this game by reflecting on articles about the wave of immigration that Europe faces today, and encourage debate among the participants. In this session, the recommendation came forward to use personal stories in order to generate a bigger impact.

The second day of training started with a panel discussion moderated by ASUD President Pavel Martinovsky regarding “Global education and education in the European Context”. In this discussion, participants stressed that personal stories are very valuable in teaching history, as well as showing different viewpoints. Moreover, teachers should not be afraid to address controversial topics. In addition, the drama is a good method to teach history.

The following workshop discussed “Rising from the Ruins: a scripted drama about the important steps leading to EU”, translated by Eva Zajícová, and presented by Croatian international trainer Igor Jovanović. During this workshop, a discussion developed that involved the usage of drama in history education, and participants proposed the idea of using only part of the provided script in order for pupils to find their own course of events, and eventually, their own conclusions.

Regarding the viewpoint of Czech children on the EU, the participants concluded that the pupil’s opinions and views differ greatly from that of the older generation, as the EU has been a part of all the pupil’s life. They have not experienced border checks when going from one Schengen country to another. The participants suggested introducing them with this “unknown” and “inexperienced” part of Czech history in order to understand the situation prior to the EU, and thus understand the value of the EU today. Educating students can also lead to a wider dissemination of EU education in the form of talks and discussions with parents or other family members.

The participants expressed great contentedness regarding the two-day training. Fruitful discussions, the expansion of networks, and the opportunity of applying new teaching techniques were some of the aspects valued most by the participants.

The national training event was organized by the History Teachers Association of the Czech Republic. This article is based on the report written by Eva Zajícová.

National training in Portugal: teaching Europe to enhance EU cohesion

Catalina Gaete Project Updates

As part of the Decisions and Dilemmas 3: making learning about the EU motivating and meaningful project, the sixth national training event was held on the 29th of June, 2018 in Lisbon, at the headquarters of the Portuguese History Teachers Association (APH).

The president of the APH Miguel Monteiro de Barros and Association Member Joaquim Carvalho prepared and implemented the workshops held in this event, with the participation of an international partner and trainer, the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) Educational Officer Loizos Loukaidis from Cyprus. The participants who attended this event were all teachers from different schools of the secondary level. Thirteen were from various locations around the country, and seven were from Lisbon where the training was held.

The event began with Miguel Monteiro de Barros giving a summary of the project’s three phases and highlighting the importance of such a project and its beneficial implications for the integration of the EU. He stressed the importance of focusing more on social and daily life benefits brought by the EU, and less on political data such as treaties. He also informed the participants that amongst the materials provided to them, there was a pen drive that contained the three workshops discussed, in both Portuguese and English versions.

This was followed by the start of the event’s first workshop “Comércio a uma escala global” (Trade in a global context) by Joaquim Carvalho. For this workshop, the participants worked in groups of four and at the end of the session, each group presented its conclusions. All the participants were adamant about the utility of this theme for their teaching practice.

After lunch, Joaquim Carvalho presented the second workshop, which involved the use of drama: “Erguendo-se das ruínas” (Rising from ruins). The activity could not take place given the fact that the space available was not very adequate. Instead, the trainer presented the materials and explained how they could/should be used in a classroom context. After the presentation, there was a discussion about the material.

Then, workshop three dealt with “Opening Europe’s borders”, given by the international partner and trainer Loizos Loukaidis. This workshop was given in English, as one of the prerequisites to attend this event was having knowledge of the English language. Again, the participants were divided into groups in order to discuss the material presented on a smaller scale. The participants found the activities very useful and engaging.

The event ended with a presentation by Miguel Monteiro de Barros about Historiana. He demonstrated how units are grouped and how resources can be accessed through a hands-on activity. The participants were highly engaged in the activity.

Reflecting on the event, participants expressed their genuine interest and determination to include the EU and its integration in their teaching practice. Miguel Monteiro de Barros informed that this project is already having an effect on the Portuguese curricula, as the APH is cooperating with teams from the Ministry of Education on a national project that deals with changing the way various disciplines are taught. The main objective of this project is to teach what is essential with a more practical and transversal approach. The APH was asked by the Ministry of Education to look into the history programs and change them where needed. Some of the outcomes of the project ‘Decisions & Dilemmas’ have been incorporated in that work.

Finally, the participants looked back on the event very positively. The event even ended later than planned due to a high level of participation.

This article is based on the report written by Miguel Monteiro de Barros from the Portuguese History Teachers’ Association.

Successful national training in Cyprus: sharing experiences and methods for teaching about European history

Catalina Gaete Project Updates

As part of the Decisions and Dilemmas 3: making learning about the EU motivating and meaningful project, the Cypriot national training event was held on the 28th and 29th of August, 2018 in Platres.

The workshops of this national training were facilitated by the Educational Programs Officer of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), Mr. Loizos Loukaidis, Educator and AHDR Associate Researcher Ms. Evie Grouta, and Joaquim Carvalho from the Association of History Educators of Portugal. Participants of the workshop came from diverse backgrounds, including from Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking primary and secondary education, teachers from public and private schools across the divide in Cyprus as well as youth and NGO workers, graduates of different universities and retired historians and teachers.

The first day of the event started with an introduction to the work of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) by Loizos Loukaidis. Some participants were already familiar with the work of the AHDR, and thus they were invited to participate in the presentation and contribute to the discussion. This offered a sense of belonging and continuity that impressed new participants. The presentation also offered participants an insight into the vision, mission and different projects and activities of the AHDR. This acquaintance of participants with the organization is expected to act as a multiplier for future events and collaborations.

Following this presentation, Ms. Grouta and Mr. Loukaidis engaged the participants in an introductory workshop on Historiana. In this context, the participants were reminded of basic historical concepts that would be useful for their work during the workshop. Then the tools themselves, Historiana and Europeana, were introduced through a presentation and demonstration. Participants were divided into mixed groups and discussed the execution of different tasks such as the creation of their own learning resources, which they subsequently presented in the plenary. Most participants expressed interest in exploring this new tool and were happy to know that there are also lesson plans provided in their mother tongue. They found the website useful and stated that they will make use of the lesson plans as much as possible. They were also informed that they have the opportunity to modify the level of resources as well as the duration and complexity according to age groups.

On the second day of the event, Ms. Grouta and Mr. Loukaidis elaborated on the research results of ‘Teaching Europe to enhance EU cohesion’ and briefly provided the participants with background information on the overall project and the partners. They stressed the role of EuroClio as the umbrella organization bringing together different educational stakeholders around issues concerning the teaching and learning of History. The workshop facilitators presented the research results, making the necessary connections with the Cypriot context across the divide and invited the participants to share their professional experience. The participants were extremely interested in finding out how such a diverse group of educators working in such different and complex conditions managed to collaborate to bring together the results from such a wide spectrum of educational backgrounds and produce educational material that would cater everybody’s educational needs. The facilitators made sure that participants realized the importance of addressing cross-cutting issues to teach about European History and the necessity to engage in educational activities that highlight the importance of identities and the complexity of interactions in contemporary Europe. During the discussion, participants identified both challenges and opportunities while engaging in the study of the European History, which is – up to a certain extent – neglected because of the focus on local histories and the histories of the so-called motherlands of Cyprus. This engagement with the History of Europe and the EU, according to their feedback, will help them to also understand the regional conditions and draw the connections with other contexts thus connecting the micro to the macro as a prerequisite of the educational process while studying history.

Following the aforementioned presentations, Mr. Carvalho presented the work of his Association in Portugal and, then, himself and Ms. Grouta facilitated the activity “Trade in a Global Context – How does European Trade affect African Chicken farmers?” employing the relevant Historiana unit. The aim of the unit was for participants to understand how complex the question of the impact of the EU trade policy on Africa is and that answers are equally complex. The participants were grouped and worked on the activity sheets provided in order to identify consequences and effects. They discussed ‘Who benefits most from the current practice of exporting cheap chicken meat to Africa?’ and subsequently worked on comparing and contrasting ideas. In addition, participants discussed issues of social justice, post-colonialism, and compassion as well as fair trade practices and the role of citizens and states in this process. Most educators suggested that this lesson plan could also be used in the Geography and Citizenship class. Most importantly, participants engaged in a discussion on the methodological tools employed in this educational process and gave feedback on how they would approach this issue in their classrooms.

Next, participants engaged in educational activities under the theme of ‘Opening Europe’s Borders for People and border controls in a (post)Schengen world – How did the migrant crisis shake the foundations and principles of the European Union?’. The aims of this activity, facilitated by Mr. Loukaidis, were for participants to identify and analyze the positions of various actors in the EU in relation to the migrant crisis, including people who are pro- and anti- ending Schengen freedom of movement, and the perspective of people living outside Schengen. Furthermore, participants had to assess in what ways and to what extent the migrant crisis has influenced relations within the EU and give their own reasoned argument as to how the EU should cope with the migrant crisis.

At a first stage, Mr. Loukaidis presented the history of Schengen and assisted participants in learning to deal with questions that move students from the facts on to starting to form their own opinions. Then, before moving on to group work, he introduced the migrants’ crises with the animated maps so that participants would get acquainted with the main developments and routes of migration to Europe since 2004. Following this background information, the participants were divided into mixed groups (according to community background and gender) and provided with files of source material representing different opinions on the migration crisis and the future of Schengen. Students studied the source material carefully and completed the worksheet which was used in the following discussions.

Representatives of all groups then presented arguments to address different questions using information from the perspectives they had studied. That is, they were taking the position of the viewpoint they had just studied. The facilitator stressed that this technique can help students feel more comfortable discussing emotional and controversial topics. To complete the activity, the participants had to think about what they would write in a paragraph answering the question ‘How did the migrant crisis shake the foundations and principles of the European Union?’. The activity ended with a discussion on how they would transfer the knowledge and skills acquainted through this activity in their educational contexts. It is worth mentioning that the suspension of the Schengen Agreement for Cyprus – due to its political issue – as well as the sensitivities and the restrictions to the freedom of movement from one side of Cyprus to the other were part of the discussions during the reflection phase of this activity.

Overall, the participants were highly engaged and participated actively in all stages of the workshop. The participants welcomed the AHDR team as well as the international expert and all of them were engaging in discussions in mixed groups. They expressed their content about the knowledge and skills provided during the workshop and assured us that, with certain adaptations to their context, they can utilize the knowledge they have gained in their classrooms. They seemed very engaged in discussions about contemporary issues such as migration, fair trade, social responsibility, intercultural understanding etc., and stressed the role of history in suggesting alternatives and as functioning as a vehicle for educational and social change.

This article is based on the report written by Mr. Loizos Loukaidis, Educational Programs Officer of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR).