The Lebanese Association for History was established by a group of educationalists, history teachers, academics and activists who work together to contribute to the development of disciplinary approaches to History education in Lebanon. LAH seeks to promote a wider public understanding of history education as a discipline to advance the construction of historical knowledge in society and strengthen a modern approach where learners engage with historical concepts, higher-order thinking and link history to real-life situations. LAH engages professionals and learners alike in critical inquiry and use of historical sources when working with historical concepts and encourages learners to reflect on how engaging with historical concepts influences their self-development. LAH has established collaborations with a number of associations and universities including, EuroClio, the Finnish Association for History Teachers and the Center for Lebanese Studies and Notre Dame University – Louaize.
For those working in history education, the difficulties of bringing history at the foreground of public debate are not new. History does not seem to be a priority for wider portions of society, and therefore, those who work in the field are forced to be more fervent and passionate to advocate for it. This is the story of one of those advocators, whose answer to inertia is never lethargy but rather action. Nayla Hamadeh, from the Lebanese Association for History (LAH), shares with us their efforts to promote a significant reform in Lebanese history education, which first step is to train... the trainers.
How to bring up history at the forefront of educational concerns and reforms? This is the question that the Lebanese Association for History (LAH) has being trying to answer since 2013. Founded by a group of educators, history teachers, and activists, LAH advocates for historical scientific enquiry, continuous learning, and critical thinking. Within these aims, the professional development of Lebanese historians has been among their main goals, especially due to the curricular deadlock that came during the post war period.
Nayla Khodr Hamadeh is the current president of the Lebanese Association for History. Involved long before in professional development, even as a trainer herself at the International College (IC) in Beirut, Nayla has explored Lebanese history education from within, achieving great understanding of its most urgent problems and concerns. “After several trials in the post war period, successive governments have failed to issue a new curriculum intended to ‘unify the Lebanese’ around a common narrative. This has resulted in the marginalization of history as a subject. History teachers were hardly receiving any training in the last three decades”, Nayla says.
Due to this grim panorama, where the needs for professional development of public schools’ history teachers were almost unknown, in 2018 LAH started working with the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD), the body in charge of public training in Lebanon. “In an effort to start preparing the grounds for a new curriculum, the CERD had already appointed a number of history teachers to act as trainers of history teachers”, Nayla said, describing the emergence of an opportunity to get involved. In this scenario, LAH proposed an innovative programme aimed at providing training to their team of trainers, pointing at the need of well-prepared professionals for the new curriculum to be issued.
“To map their needs, we conducted an online survey to which 116 teachers responded. The majority of public schools’ teachers indicated that they had not received any form of training and that they are interested in introducing new ways to their teaching”, Nayla describes. With this imperative task in mind, LAH and CERD started to work together in a training programme involving three workshops and mentoring sessions. The activities aimed at addressing pedagogy strategies, curriculum design, needs assessment and building learning communities. “It culminates in the design of a training program for all teachers”, Nayla says, pointing at the final goal of this initiative, which is to form “a team of trainers equipped with skills and knowledge needed to design and manage an impactful training program for all teachers leading to change in history classrooms. This, of course, is a long process. LAH’s initiative aims at starting this process”.
The first phase of this joined effort will end up in January 2019, to then open up the second phase, where the ‘trainees’ will implement their own training sessions. “The challenge is to ensure that the teachers start implementing this in their classrooms”, Nayla said, describing the difficulties of intervening working cultures that are resistant to change. Finally, Nayla explained that the work developed by LAH is an ongoing and permanently open process, because the main goal it’s not only introduce learning strategies, but also “build historical thinking, openness and respect of others”.
If you want to follow up the work developed by LAH in Lebanon, and learn from their experience training history teachers’ trainers, you can check out their website (in English and Arabic) https://lahlebanon.org/
The project consisted of a week-long professional development course for 30 history and citizenship educators from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia coordinated by EuroClio, in partnership with the Lebanese Association for History. This event built the capacities of participants to teach innovative and responsible history education with a focus on developing historical and critical thinking skills amongst students. This transnational capacity-building course fostered long-term cross-border communication and cooperation in the region and offered opportunities to share and compare practices with colleagues from Europe. Coinciding with this course, there was a stakeholders meeting with official representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations on future steps for regional cooperation on history education. The project brought together a group of education practitioners who critically reflected on the current challenges, opportunities and good practices in history education in their respective countries. At the same time they came to realize that they face many similar or even common challenges and opportunities and they showed a strong willingness to work on these on a regional level. The trainings on methodological innovation were a unique and important opportunity for all as it reinforced their willingness to use innovative and learner-centered approaches in their teaching practice. The project also reinforced the professionalism of the newly created Lebanese Association for History and empower history education professionals in other countries of the region to activate and extend similar networks.
The overall objective was to support the sustainable development of high-quality history education in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia through capacity building, stakeholders involvement and training on methodological innovation.
- Reinforced willingness and confidence of a core group of history educators to use innovative practices based on learner-centered approaches
- Acquisition of methodological tools by a core group of history educators to better integrate historical knowledge and conceptual understanding in their teaching practice
Civil Society Strengthening
- Commitment of all project participants to explore possibilities to set up a history educators’ network in their respective countries
- Hands-on knowledge on the principles and tools for good management and governance
- Increased awareness of the situation of history education in neighbouring countries and of existing initiatives and resources possibly adaptable or extendable to other countries
- Establishment of regular communication and collaboration between history educators in the region, including through exchange visits, etc.
- Collaborative development and dissemination of an exemplar history lesson based on recommendations from the Guidebook for History Textbooks Authors “On a Common Path”
- Professional Development of 25 history educators
- Contribution to the advancement of educational innovation in the MENA region and ultimately to the acquisition of skills for life and employability by youngsters
- Professionalisation and internationalisation of the Lebanese History Teachers’ Association.
- Empowerment of an increasing group of history and heritage educators from the MENA region to commit to long-term cross-border cooperation
- Improved dialogue between civil society actors, policymakers, researchers and practitioners in the field on national and cross-national level.
Steven Stegers, EuroClio Programme Director
Judith Geerling, EuroClio Project Manager
Blandine Smilansky, EuroClio Educational Staff
Maha Shuayb (LAH)
Nayla Hamadeh (LAH)
The project "Learning about (y)our past. History lessons for intercultural citizenship in the EuroMed region" aims to help young people in the EuroMediterranean region to acquire competences for intercultural citizenship by learning about identity and diversity, about positive intercultural encounters and addressing emotive and controversial issues in history education. The project will achieve this through collaborative design, piloting, peerreview, editing, design and publication of six learning activities that can be used as alternative educational resources. The development of these resources will be done by an international team with various cultural and professional backgrounds. This team will meet three times throughout the project, to work on the initial planning, peerreview and final editing of the resources. In between meetings the project team will work on the collecting of source material and piloting of the resources in practice. The project meetings will take place in Cyprus and Lebanon. The learning activities will be translated and published in Arab, English, Greek and Turkish and made freely available for use on the website of EuroClio and licensed in such a way that reuse is possible. To ensure that the main relevant stakeholders are informed about the learning activities and encourage its widespread use the project team will develop and implement a communication plan targeting the professional community of history educators in the EuroMed.
The overall objective is to help young people in the EuroMediterranean region to acquire competences for intercultural citizenship by learning about identity and diversity, about positive intercultural encounters and addressing emotive and controversial issues in history education. More specific objectives are:
- To build the professional capacity and extend the networks of history, heritage and citizenship educators in the EuroMed region that is supporting the idea that history education can contribute to intercultural citizenship education.
- To build, provide access to and promote the use of learner centered, sourcebased, and multiperspective educational materials in the EuroMed region in Arabic, English, Greek and/or Turkish.
- To engage in joint advocacy to inter-governmental organizations and targeted media on regional and global levels, raising awareness amongst policy makers and civil society actors on the importance of responsible history education in the EuroMed region.
All educational resources are available in .zip format below, in Arabic, English, Greek, and Turkish. Each .zip file contains teacher instructions, student instructions, and worksheets.
|How do museums display y(our) history and identity? A case study on Cyprus.||Alaettin Carikci||English||ελληνικά||Türkçe||العربية|
|"No place like home": How did the events of 1923 change people's lives in Turkey and Greece?||Hasan Sungur||English||ελληνικά||Türkçe||العربية|
|How did the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) change people's lives?||Jihane Youssef Francis||English||ελληνικά||Türkçe||العربية|
|What made Baghdad so remarkable 764-1258CE?||Kariman Mango||English||ελληνικά||Türkçe||العربية|
|What can food reveal about societies in the past? Encounters through food and ceremonies of food in the Euro-Mediterranean region from the 10th century until today.||Loizos Loukaidis||English||ελληνικά||Türkçe||العربية|
The overall objective is to create, empower and increase the impact of a global core group of civil society actors that have a mission and relevant experience on the promotion of responsible history education and work on a cross-border level on dealing with the past in history education. More specific objectives are:
- To build the professional capacity and extend the networks of leading civil society actors who work on dealing with the past in history education through a series of peer learning activities (project meetings and study visits).
- To build, provide access to and promote the use of a knowledge base consisting of teaching resources, multi-lateral textbooks, relevant stakeholders, policies and recommendations, journals, (action) research and strategies that are not yet sufficiently disseminated.
- To engage in joint advocacy to inter-governmental organizations and targeted media on regional and global levels, raising awareness amongst policy makers and civil society actors on the importance of responsible history education on dealing with the past for sustainable peace.
The work on dealing with the past in history education is done by a small group of people with a strong commitment to promote sustainable peace. It takes civil courage to challenge the problematic fixed points of view and ask critical questions in order to create empathy and mutual understanding. They are often obstructed or resisted by people in power and suspect to negative reactions by people who believe that only their interpretation is true and leave no room for alternative views.
The advantage of this project is that it will empower civil society actors to continue their work on historical dialogue, transitional justice and conflict transformation. The project will involve practitioners across a variety of regions that normally are unable to meet and learn from one another. The project partners will be able to learn from specialists that are working in the field of dealing with the past and adapt the lessons learned to promote responsible history education, so that more history educators can work to build more peaceful societies on a day-to-day basis.
Specific expected outcomes are:
- Building capacities of civil society actors with a core mission to use history education as a tool for societies to deal with the legacies of a violent past, for conflict transformation and prevention and ultimately reconciliation. For EuroClio, it is important to empower organizations involved in these spheres of education because it increases the impact of our projects. Capacity building allows these civil society actors to be more effective when acting independently and with partners, and encourages international cooperation and coordination.
- These civil society actors will have larger networks because of this project. They will reach more individuals through direct and face-to-face contacts; their social capital will increase, as well as their reach and capacity to act. As these organizations become larger, they have a greater impact on their societies.
- The members of the global core group, the host organizations and other stakeholders connected will gain new insights and expanded their knowledge base on how to implement strategies related to dealing with the past through history education.
- The public-at-large will have access to an online repository (the knowledge base) of relevant practices, policies and projects that can be used for advocacy and monitoring to further develop the field, and learn from the project via regular blog posts.
- Through joint advocacy and media outreach, the project will result in increased awareness of the “abuse of history” in society as an obstacle for peace and stability amongst representatives of political parties, civil society organizations, professional volunteers, educational authorities (including inspectors, curriculum developers, and examiners), and other actors responsible for policies.
- Through additional events organized by partners and other stakeholders they will be able to increase the use of teaching tools that promote responsible approaches to history education that have the potential to transform and prevent conflicts.
- The study visits will make it easier for the selected civil society organizations from the core group and the host organizations to meet with policy makers.Special reports of the study visits can be found here.
Senada Jusic is a historian, history teacher, author of the book “Yellow building by the river Miljacka” and co-author of pedagogical modules and materials such as “Latin bridge” and “Monument in Motion”. She is a post-graduate at Sarajevo Faculty of Philosophy, Department of History. She is a board member of EuroClio-HIP, the history teachers’ association of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has cooperated with institutions within the sphere of history (Sarajevo Institute of History, Historical Archive in Sarajevo) and other organizations (EuroClio, ZFD, HIA, Anne Frank House, Women to Women, CDRSEE). She is currently working on the reform of the history curriculum as a member of the commission for the reform of the curriculum of the Sarajevo Canton.
Meena graduated from Art College and set up a graphic design studio in the early years of her career. An inherent passion for the arts and social concern, children and education brought her to The Seagull Foundation for the Arts where she heads the PeaceWorks project. She has been instrumental in giving the project the shape it has today and international recognition. PeaceWorks received the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Award in 2010.
Clara Ramírez-Barat is the Director of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) Educational Policies Program. Before joining AIPR, she was a Senior Research Associate at the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), an organization with which she worked for more than fours years after having served for two years as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow. At ICTJ, Clara’s research focused on different aspects of transitional justice with a special interest on media and the cultural sphere. More recently, Clara worked on the intersection between transitional justice and education, both by developing an adolescent-friendly version of the Kenyan Truth Commission’s final report and as part of a broader two-year research project on Transitional Justice, Education, and Peacebuilding. Born in Madrid, Clara obtained her Ph.D. in 2007 at University Carlos III of Madrid with a thesis on transitional justice and also holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University (2002). She is currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.
Olesya Skrypnyk is a Project Administrator at the All-Ukrainian Association for History Teachers in Ukraine “Nova Doba”. She administers the project “Integration through Dialogue” in Lviv, Ukraine. The Project’s goal is, to overcome cultural and regional differences based on different life experiences, memories, attitudes to historical past of Ukraine and visions of its present and future development. The project aims to achieve its goal through integration of educational and psychological support to children who suffered from the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. Olesya holds a BA in English Philology, and an MA in Sociology from the Ivan Franko University of Lviv.
Ineke Veldhuis-Meester stood at the threshold of EuroClio in 1993. From the start she has been part of the Historiana Learning Team, developing innovative and multi-perspective learning activities. Currently she works for the project “Decisions & Dilemmas” on why European cooperation ‘was hot’ after World War II. Her basis is teaching History and Civics in a Dutch secondary school/gymnasium and at the International School in the Netherlands. For 18 years Ineke was responsible for the Pedagogy of History teaching at Groningen University, in initial and in-service teacher training. Throughout her teaching life she has been a trait d’union between the University historians’ world, and the Association of Teachers in History and Civics in the Netherlands (VGN); from 1997-2000 she served in the National Board. Her interest in assessment led to constructing national history exams at the National Institute for Assessment and Measurement (CITO). With ‘a gang of four’ she implemented a new examination system for History in secondary education throughout the Netherlands. From 1991-1999, in publications and workshops, it was a decade of fun and inspiration, with Joke van der Leeuw. After retirement she continues to serve as expert in History Education in Council of Europe and EuroClio projects; her field of interest is multi-perspective History teaching and innovative methodology, the shaping of historical consciousness in collective memory and remembrance today.
Marios Epaminondas has studied Pedagogics(ΒΑ), Art and Design Educatıon(ΜΑ), History(ΒΑ) and Educational Leadership(ΜΑ). He has worked as a teacher, museum animator, history text book author and teacher trainer. Currently he works in the Office for European and International Affairs of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus. He has been a coordinator and/or a trainer/facilitator in several projects with themes related to history teaching, human rights education, intercultural learning and youth empowerement. He is currently a Board Member of the ‘Association for Historical Dialogue and Research’.
Michael Robinson has been a secondary social studies teacher for the past 21 years. Since 2003 he has taught grades 9-12 at Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee, where he teaches Advanced Placement Human Geography, Contemporary Issues, and Facing History and Ourselves. In 2010 he was named the National Council for the Social Studies Secondary Teacher of the Year, and in November of 2011 he was an Outstanding Educator in Residence (OER) at the Academy of Singapore Teachers (AST). He was also the recipient of the 2009 and 2012 National Council for Geography Education Lesson Plan Award.
Khaled El-Masri is a supervisor and head of department of human sciences at the Lebanese International School, located in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, a holder of BA in Islamic Jurisprudence, and currently pursuing MA courses in education at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. Khaled has a 20 year-experience in the educational field. He has been training teaching skills to colleagues at his workplace and teachers from different Lebanese regions. In addition, he is member of the Lebanese Association for History and NEP trainer on Historical Thinking. Khaled is deeply engrossed in the curricular and pedagogic issues and concerns of teaching history.