EuroClio Welcomes New Board, Member Organizations

During the General Assembly, held at the 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, EuroClio member organizations elected two new board members. Sinead Fitzsimons was elected board member, while Frank van den Akker was elected financial advisor to the Board. The Association bids farewell to president Marjan de Groot-Reuvekamp, secretary Semih Aktekin, Peder Wiben and financial advisor Erwin Capitain. The Board, in its new composition, elected Lóa Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir as president. Mire Mladenovski was elected vice president, while he also retains his position as treasurer. Paolo Ceccoli now holds the position of secretary, and Riitta Mikkola retains her position as board member.

On behalf of the EuroClio family we would like to sincerely thank the outgoing board members for their tremendous efforts and for the important work they have done over the past years! - EuroClio Director Jonathan Even-Zohar

New member organizations

In addition to new board members, the General Assembly also approved the application for membership of The School of Creative Teachers and Education for the 21st Century. EuroClio is looking forward to establishing a solid cooperation between EuroClio, its member organizations and these two new members.

Panel Discussion: “What Role for International Community in Developing History?” #euroclio2016AC

On the third day of the 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference, a panel discussion focused on the role of the international community in developing history as a means to promote peace and understanding in conflict areas and divided societies. The panel was led by EuroClio Director Jonathan Even-Zohar and Head of History Teaching Unit of the Council of Europe, Tatiana Milko. The panelists were: Emir Filipovic, history educator from Bosnia-Herzegovina; Dea Maric, project coordinator at Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past; and Samuel Lee, Professor of Social Philosophy and representative of the History NGO Forum for Peace in East Asia. History educator Khaled El-Masri, representative of the Lebanese Association for History, was also supposed to take part in the discussions, but unfortunately his visa request was rejected by the United Kingdom visa authorities. In a message relayed to the attendants by Jonathan Even-Zohar, El-Masri commented about the rejection: “I pay the price for what’s happening around my home country, Lebanon.”

In the introduction to the panel, Tatiana Milko from the Council of Europe noted that initially people were very skeptical of the role of history education in promoting peace and understanding. However, when it comes to solving military conflicts, there is of course an important role for international organizations such as the Council of Europe or the European Union. Milko pointed out that problems not only arise in military conflicts, but also in frozen conflicts, mentioning examples of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Caucasus.

According to Emir Filipovic, the international community positively influenced the development of textbooks in his country, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although a unified curriculum does not exist at this time, history teachers’ association EuroClio-HIP is working on multiplying textbooks and removing offensive language.

Connections throughout divided societies

Filipovic also mentioned that there are a lot of similarities between the centenaries of Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina, stating: “There are so many issues that connect us throughout the world in these divided societies!”

However, differences exist as well, Professor Samuel Lee said. “Both Europe and Asia have gone through hardships. However, Europe has successfully gone through reconciliation and lives togheter. Whereas, in East Asia historical conflicts have not been truly solved but instead worsened. The European Cold War has more or less been overcome. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall came a peaceful cooperation. On the contrary, in North and South Korea there is no reconciliation.”

“Conflicts are ethnically driven but also the narratives are ethnically shaped,” Dea Maric from Documenta said. In addition, history education tends to perceive itself as the only view that matters and is correct. Documenta, she continued, has a number of programmes dealing with these problematic issues: Documenting Human Losses, Personal Memories of War, and Public Dialogue and Education for Dealing with the Past. Especially the latter was controversial due to its multi-perspective approach.

“Is history teaching part of the problem or the solution?” Emir Filipovic asked himself. “History education can be an antidote to the poison, but history educators sometimes don’t dare to change.” Sometimes we have to make a sacrifice in order to create change, Filipovic concluded.

Education Minister John O’Dowd Addresses #euroclio2016AC

On 21 March, the Minister of Education of the Northern Ireland Executive addressed the 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference “Reimagining Remembrance”. The Minister welcomed local and international delegates of the conference on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive:

I am delighted that EuroClio chose Belfast as the venue for this year’s conference. The theme is particularly relevant for schools in the North this year, given that the spring and summer of 2016 will see two important events being commemorated locally, the Easter Rising and the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Both events have shaped cultural and political attitudes here and I am sure delegates will have much to share on how we encourage all our young people to appreciate the historical and contemporary significance of the events that took place one hundred years ago.

During his speech Minister O’Dowd also mentioned efforts of his department to reform curricula and provide new educational resources in Northern Ireland: “I commissioned the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment to prepare a ‘1916 Mutual Understanding’ programme for schools. This is now available and will provide teachers with curricular support and materials to enable them to explore the history and legacy of the events we are marking this year.” O’Dowd stressed that in order to implement the curricula, “we have to rely on the professionalism of our teachers.”

The Ministry of Education has launched a campaign titled “Education Works” to help parents get involved in their children’s education.

Watch the speech below:

Keynote Speaker Tony Gallagher: “Engage More Critically with World Outside Classroom” #euroclio2016AC

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Tony Gallagher, Professor of Education delivered a keynote speech at the 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference “Reimagining Remembrance” currently taking place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. During his presentation (available for download in .pdf below), Mr. Gallagher discussed the role of education systems in a divided society, while presenting the case of Northern Ireland. He stressed that history education should “engage more critically and effectively with what is taught outside the classroom.”

Local and global issues exist in parallel and not enough connections are being made.

In his speech, Mr. Gallagher posed some very important questions that history education nowadays encounter like “Should minorities be entitled to institutional recognition?” and “Is pursuit of tolerance a core goal?” Furthermore, he discussed the differences, features and (dis)advantages of separate versus common schools. Subsequently, he described the development of history and citizenship education in Northern Ireland.

His overall conclusion was threefold: we should support the engagement of difficult issues, promote critical learning communities, and we should learn from other contexts, while developing our own solutions.


23rd Annual Conference Kicks Off: “Belfast is a Place of Diversity, Not of Dichotomy.”

On Saturday, March 19, EuroClio President Marjan de Groot-Reuvekamp opened the 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference “Reimagining Remembrance: Dealing with the Legacy of a Violent Past in History and Heritage Education” currently being held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Opening statements were also delivered by Director Jonathan Even-Zohar, Senior Lecturer in Education at Ulster University Alan McCully and Culture and Heritage Officer of the Belfast City Council Robert Heslip.

Belfast is a place of diversity, not of dichotomy.

—Robert Heslip, Culture and Heritage Officer, Belfast City Council

The conference will continue through Thursday March 24. During the conference, keynotes, workshops, on-site learning and school visits focus on the roles, impact and challenges of the decade’s historical and contemporary importance and to reflect on remembering and commemorating the difficult past presents particular challenges in the reconciliation process for governments, civil society and history educators.

Follow the Conference Blog for more!

23rd EuroClio Annual Conference: Reimagining Remembrance


Share your insights, views, pictures, and videos of the conference! Join the discussion at #euroclio2016AC.
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Dealing with the Legacy of a Violent Past in History and Heritage Education

Societies which have experienced conflict and reached a peace accord have difficulty in moving from "negative" to "positive" peace. Often remembering and commemorating the difficult past presents particular challenges in the reconciliation process for governments, civil society and history educators. Northern Ireland is no exception to this.

This conference will take place close to Easter, 2016. In the spring and summer of that year two important events are being commemorated locally, the Easter Rising and the first day of the Battle of the Somme, both of which, subsequently, have helped shape cultural and political attitudes in Northern Ireland.

These occasions can be exclusive and therefore cause community tensions but there is also the potential to re-examine their significance from a wider range of perspectives including the present and, thereby, re-imagine the contribution this deeper understanding might make to building a transformative peace. Participants attending the conference would have the opportunity to engage with the on-going debate within civil society as to how best these events might be handled, to experience educational initiatives to help young people better understand the Decade's historical and contemporary importance and to reflect on how similar events are remembered in their own countries.

The conference aims to explore the question of “How to teach controversial history in a responsible manner” through a highly (inter)active and engaging programme with workshops, dialogue tables, open spaces, on-site study visits, public debate and reflective and interactive panels. The conference will provide a platform of intercultural exchange in which the participants will actively learn, share best practices and network. These and more questions on the environment of the history educator in 21st century will be the points to peer-learn on 6 full course days at a Unique International Conference.

Extra Information

AimsExpected Outcomes

  • To engage in a Europe-wide debate on the experience of Northern Ireland civil society as to how sensitive events should be remembered.
  • To compare and contrast the experiences of Northern Ireland as well as other countries across Europe and beyond on teaching sensitive history in a divided society and adopting different approaches in applying the historical process to sensitive events from the past.
  • To share educational initiatives which help young people better understand the 1912-22 decade’s historical and contemporary importance and to reflect on how similar events are remembered in their own countries.
  • To exchange innovative tools, methods and professional knowledge with all other Educators in Europe to aid teaching locally and in their own countries.
  • To develop a common understanding of innovative and responsible history education as a bridge foreducation for reconciliation, peace education, intercultural education and human rights education.
  • To disseminate and explore implementation of innovative history teaching resources and guidelines produced by national, international, NGO’s and intergovernmental organisations.
  • To transform the shared experiences of integrated and cross-border history education in diverse societies into tangible guidelines for European educators and policy-makers.
  • To explore the role of local (educational) authorities in bridging cultural/historical viewpoints in divided societies taking the example of the city of Belfast.
  • To strengthen synergies between EuroClio and history educators in Northern Ireland in order to establish and build the capacity of History Teachers’ Association of Northern Ireland.

History, Heritage and Citizenship Educators are encouraged to take part in this unique International Training Course, as it aims to achieve for individuals the following outcomes:

  • Increased participation and dialogue in European Community of History Educators.
  • Raised awareness of cultures and identities through field trips, and reflection on the teaching of history across Europe.
  • Access to new partnerships, including schools, local, regional, national and international educational authorities and institutes in different fields and sectors.
  • Recognition of developed competences in history education through lifelong learning in the international context.
  • Access to innovative history education tools from across Europe with a focus on education for peace.
  • Improved English-language competence through facilitated and engaged dialogues.
  • Understanding the challenges related to dealing with public commemoration in divided societies.
  • Conference report for wider dissemination, including educational resources, and academic papers.

Belfast Calling! #euroclio2016AC

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The 23rd edition of the EuroClio Annual Conference is just four days away! The conference will realize its ambition of reaching out to more than 170 educators from more than 30 different countries all over the world throughout different days at the conference. Below you can find the conference booklet, which will guide you through interesting and varied themes, speakers, lectures, workshops and cultural and on-site learning programmes.

Keep informed by following the live updates from the conference via the hashtag #euroclio2016AC and at the project page.


Final Call: Register for 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference in Belfast

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If you haven’t yet registered for the 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference “Remembering the Difficult Past through History and Heritage Education”, your final opportunity to do so is until 20 February! You can register by filling out the Google form here. More information about the conference is available at the conference page.

Updates on workshops

Having received many brilliant workshop proposals, we are pleased to announce that we’ve selected workshops ranging from history and citizenship education, to experiences of dealing with the violent past, as well as remembering and learning about 1916 in a multi-perspective way.

New programme elements

The conference programme has been taking very good shape. Aside an interesting and wide array of key-note speeches – from the Northern Ireland Minister for Education as well as several prominent historians – we’ve aimed at a great diversity in the choice of study visits. Aside from schools of different types and levels, this year’s study visits will also cover Ministerial curriculum development centres and museums.  More new programme elements are in the making. The preliminary programme and the information package are available for download below.

Opportunity to exhibit

The conference offers the opportunity to present your projects, resources, textbooks etcetera during the international fair.

Pub quiz and final festive dinner in the historical City Hall

As is tradition, this year too there will be a competitive and exciting pub-quiz! And, this time, it will actually be hosted in a real pub due to the efforts of the Students Union of Queens University Moreover, as we informed you before, we will close off the conference in style with a festive dinner and reception at the beautiful and historic Belfast City Hall.

Exciting Programme Updates for 23rd EuroClio Annual Conference

Jaco Stoop Project Updates ,
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EuroClio is pleased to announce that the registration deadline for the 23rd Annual Conference “Remembering the Difficult Past through History and Heritage Education” (19-24 March 2016, Belfast) has been extended to 1 January 2016! If you’ve missed your chance to register before, you can do so by filling out the Google form here.

Your registration will definitely be worthwhile, as the conference programme has by now been enriched with an attendance of Northern Ireland Minister for Education John O’Dowd, key-note speeches from several prominent historians, including prof. Tony Gallagher (Queens University),  Eamon Phoenix (Stanmillis College), and Philip Orr (historian and author of several books).

Moreover, partnerships with Peace and Reconciliation organizations Corymeela and Nerve Centre form a true asset to the on-site learning programme, whereas partnerships with National Museums Northern Ireland and Ulster Museum, as well as Queens University, mean that most of the conference venues are now determined. Ulster University and St Mary’s College are taking a bigger role in the making of the programme. Even more spectacularly, we can announce that the final dinner and reception will be held at the beautiful and historic Belfast City Hall.

More new programme elements are in the making. An updated version of the preliminary programme is available below.

In the meantime, the conference organizers are reviewing the workshop applications. More updates on the workshops will follow in January, but we can already say that the applications show an intriguing and wide array of learning opportunities.

Lastly, we’d like to draw your attention to some attractive accommodation deals for the conference participants. This year, EuroClio has chosen not to book accommodation for the participants, to offer some more leeway and flexibility. Information about these deals can be downloaded below. Please visit the conference page for more information.

International Board of EuroClio Meets in The Hague

Jaco Stoop Association ,

On 11-12 December, the EuroClio Board convened in The Hague. The meeting dealt with a variety of issues in the area of governance, financial supervision and planning. There was also time to brainstorm on future activities and to obtain a detailed update by the EuroClio staff members. The main focus however was to analyse and assess the feedback given by the members in the recent survey. This survey, prepared by the Board’s Membership Committee, queried the members ideas about membership services, fees and also asked current members for inputs on potential future membership systems. The meeting was fruitful and resulted in clear next steps toward the General Assembly in Belfast on 24 March 2016.