First of many training events organized in Croatia

EuroClio Project Updates

As part of the Decisions and Dilemmas 3: making learning about the EU motivating and meaningful project, the first of many national training events was organized on May 19 in Pula, Croatia. The training is based on the translated materials from the Historiana Changing Europe unit. Similar training events will be organized in the upcoming months in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, Latvia, Portugal and Spain.

The seminar was opened by project coordinator Vedran Ristić by presenting the background to the project. The overall goal of the project is to make learning about the EU interesting for students while simultaneously conveying more information about the motives and reasons behind political, economic and social initiatives that led to the founding of the EU. This is done by giving students insight in dealing with current issues. Following the project presentation, Igor Jovanović also delivered the results of the Teaching Europe research, focusing on the way EU is being taught in Croatia and other participating countries, by analyzing school textbooks.

The first workshop, titled Rising from the Ruins: Rebuilding Europe after World War Two, was led by international trainer Kati Hynönen from Finland. The unit showcases the situation in post-war Europe and the events that initiated the start of European integration. In order to better understand the unit, the participants took part in several activities, by studying character cards as well as by taking part in a drama. The play allowed the participants to roleplay as various historical figures, from George Marshall to Jean Monnet, to others. After that, an analysis of the workshop was encouraged and the participants shared their thoughts about the materials and its applicability in their own classrooms.

The second workshop, EU Trade in a Global Context, looked into contemporary challenges faced by the European Union, and was delivered by Igor Jovanović. A short starter activity was followed by an analysis of personal stories in small groups and then a discussion about them. Then another set of sources was analyzed and discussed. The workshop also ended with a conversation about the materials and its applicability in the classroom.

The final workshop, A Comparison of European Peace Treaties, was given by Vedran Ristić where the focus was placed on analyzing and comparing European peace treaties from 1648 to 1919. Participants were given data cards and worksheets to work in small groups which they then presented and compared their findings.  Following the presentation, a discussion was formed asking about which elements make a good peace treaty, and was followed by an analysis of materials and their applicability in the classroom.

Overall, the participants were satisfied with the workshops and remained active throughout the training. We look forward to future trainings organized by our partners.

All the material will be made available online by EuroClio, as well as on the website of the Croatian Association of History Educators.

The text was written based on a report by Vedran Ristić.

Decisions and Dilemmas 2 meeting in Athens

EuroClio Project Updates

Peer-reviewing learning activities in Athens

On 17-18 September, Guido Lessing, Bojana Dujkovic and Ute Ackermann-Boeros met in Athens in order to peer-review learning activities within the Decision and Dilemmas 2-project. Additionally, Kate Smee joined in via Skype from the UK.

The group got together to peer review the improved version of learning activities resulting from the previous meeting in Bruges, Belgium. They integrated the feedback given by Historiana learning editor Helen Snelson, and started to think about further peer-review and piloting of the materials. One of the more useful pieces of feedback was was to get a non-native English speaker to read it through to identify vocabulary that teachers could give their classes in advance. This would help with reducing the amount of confusion in class, and thus improve the quality of the lessons.

The accumulation of these meetings, as well as meetings in Brussels and York, will be presented in the form of learning activities workshops at The EuroClio Annual Conference in San Sebastian 2017. The next and final, development meeting will take place in the weekend of 18-20 November 2016 in Budapest.

 

Learning about the EU boring? Initial ideas for exciting lessons developed in York

From 15-17 January the development team of the Decisions and Dilemmas: Exploring European Union history through the lens of contemporary issues-project gathered for the first time at Mount School York to work on active learning activities and get advice and feedback from the Historiana Historical Content Team that was also present. In the project an international team of 5 history educators will work together with editor Helen Snelson to make the topic European Union interesting and relevant by looking at contemporary issues. The project will result in 6 learning activities, using active and innovative teaching methods. In the meeting the team members agreed to work together in pairs on 2 of the issues. After an initial group brainstorm on the different issues identified in the project the team. After working on the topics in pairs the initial ideas were pitched to the Historiana Content Team, that gave feedback and tips on how the historical dimension could be integrated in the different activities. The team will work on the further development of the activities before the next meeting in May. The final materials will be used in training during the Annual Conference in 2017. Read more “Learning about the EU boring? Initial ideas for exciting lessons developed in York”

Call for Team Members EuroClio Project

EU through a lensEuroClio has acquired a new project within the Historiana programme: “Decisions and Dilemmas: Exploring European Union history through the lens of contemporary issues”. The project will run for 2 years (from 1 September 2015 until 31 August 2017) and will be implemented by EuroClio. The project will result in educational materials on 5 key issues. We are looking for 1 or 2 history educators and 2 or 3 researchers to join the development team that will be responsible for the development and testing of the learning materials. For more information have a look at the attachment below. To apply, please send your CV, Letter of Motivation and Letter of Support from your school, institute or association in English to judith@euroclio.eu before 11 December 2015.

Kick-off New Decisions & Dilemmas Project

On 8 November 2015 the EuroClio Historiana editors’ team convened in Brussels for the exciting and successful kick-off of the new Historiana project ‘Decisions & Dilemmas: Exploring European Union history through the lens of contemporary issues’. This project is a natural follow-up to the earlier Decisions & Dilemmas project, which highlighted the historical narratives of European integration. The new D&D project in turn aims to generate a better understanding of the European Union and its working by focusing on challenges related to economic imbalances and regional divisions, energy dependency, trade in a global context, foreign relations, as well as borders and border control in a Schengen world. Similarly to the first D&D project, the development team will create a series of learning resources that will feature on the Historiana website, ready for use in history and citizenship classes at secondary school level across Europe.

As the project has only just been launched, we are still looking for team members for the development team. Please have a look at our call. Moreover, if you are interested in joining Historiana in any other way, sign up for the Historiana Facebook group!

EuroClio Members from all 28 EU Countries Discuss “Teaching Europe”

From 25 until 27 September 2015, 30 history and citizenship educators, representing Member organisations from all EU-countries met at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona for the first meeting of the project “Teaching ‘Europe’ to enhance EU cohesion: European Integration as a subject of study in secondary school education in the 28 member states”. The overall aim of the project is to improve the way in which teaching and learning about the EU is taking place and is coordinated by professor Fernando Guirao from Pompeu Fabra University in partnership with EuroClio. The research results will be compiled into a research report with a comparative analysis and country case studies and is expected in September 2016.

During the meeting the team discussed their research results of 2 history books for the final 2 years of compulsory education in their country, looking into communalities and differences in approach, number of pages and integration in the national historical narrative. Vadim Oswalt from Giessen University gave a workshop in which he explained his transnational research on history maps in 36 countries and showed methods how to interpret maps. The next phase in the project is the research of 2 textbooks for another social science subject. These results will be discussed during the next meeting, which will coincide with the training seminar for the Decisions and Dilemmas project from 12-15 February. For more information on the project please contact Steven Stegers (steven@euroclio.eu).

How to Actively Engage Students in Deep Learning about the European Union?

From 26 to 28 June, the team working on the “Decisions and Dilemma: Learning about the EU from a historical perspective” project met in The Hague for the 3rd and final development meeting. They are working on the development of a package of engaging learning sources. The project team aims to get away from the boring approach that focuses primarily on treaties, membership and institutions by focusing on an issue-based or even a ‘crisis-based’ approach, which in the view of the project team goes to the heart of the concerns of the students and their parents. In addition, the project team aims to help educators to put the EU in its historical context.

During the meeting the team reviewed life stories that were to learn about the experiences of ordinary people across Europe after World War 2, worked on a template for research and discussion on challenges that the European Community faced after it was founded, and further developed learning activities around a timeline on managing conflict through times of change that has been created for the project to see how European compares to previous initiatives to manage conflict. All the learning resources will be published on the Historiana Learning Section and be used for an international training that will take place on 12-15 February 2016. For more information, please contact steven@euroclio.eu

‘Making the history of conflict resolution and peace-keeping interesting and fun’

The UK Historical Association conference, Bristol, 8-9 May 2015: Helen Snelson presented some of the materials from the Decisions and Dilemmas project to a workshop of UK secondary school history teachers in Bristol. The World Wars and the Cold War often feature in history teaching in the UK and as part of that students learn about the international relations of the 20th century.  However, these studies are rarely focused on Europe per se and rarely reach back into the past.

In the workshop Helen used the timeline about the ‘long search for political stability in Europe 1648-1945‘ that is being developed by the Decisions and Dilemmas team.  Participants created a large wallpaper colour chart to show when different ways of establishing stability have been tried in Europe. Helen also presented a selection of the life stories of European people living in the period 1945-49. These life stories are being developed in order to engage students with the human stories behind the years that followed the end of World War Two.  They are being developed to help students consider how similar and different experiences were across the continent, and to enable students to use source material to consider how typical was the experience of their character.

Participants were enthusiastic about these and gave useful feedback to the team as they continue their development work.

Workshops on History of European Cooperation Peer-Reviewed at Annual Conference Denmark

During the EuroClio Annual Conference in Denmark, Learning Editor Helen Snelson and Content Editor Francesco Scatigna, together with team member Ineke Veldhuis-Meester led two peer-review sessions with materials developed in the Decisions and Dilemmas project and received valuable feedback from the international group of participants. The first workshop focused on ‘Understanding change and continuity in the search for European stability 1648-1945’ and included a multi-stranded timeline on this search for stability including events, ideas and global context which was analyzed and assessed. The second workshop had a focus on a different period 1945-1949 and used individual life stories and evidence files to answer questions on how typical the experiences were. Participants gave great input on what to focus on, the necessity to limit the amount of sources handed to students and to the activities in general.

The materials and learning activities will be improved with the inputs collected during these two peer-review sessions and will be used during the final training seminar of the project in February 2016 and become available on Historiana. Keep an eye on our website and newsletter for more information in the fall.