Surviving Under Pressure: Surviving in a War Context (WW2 and Algerian War of Independence)

Workshop by Ann-Laure Lieval, Burcu Cingay, and Vassiliki Yannou, Learning to Disagree Team

This workshop is the product of the Learning to Disagree project and will help those who want to engage all students, even those who do not usually speak up, in debate.  This project was initiated in response to the needs of educators who experience difficulties in addressing sensitive and controversial issues in their classrooms. The project, now in its final stages, offers trainings and support materials for teachers to face these topics head-on with their students. These materials aim to teach students vital skills such as the ability to listen, to consider alternative interpretations, and the ability of interacting with people that they disagree with in a constructive manner.

Ann-Laure, Burcu, and Vassiliki, all members of the core team of Learning to Disagree. They have blended three new learning activities into one workshop.

They will introduce the teaching strategy of the “silent placemat conversation”.  This strategy has been developed to facilitate calm, thoughtful and democratic discussions in classrooms, as all discussions are conducted in silence. Students will be asked to contribute to the discussion by writing their arguments on paper. This workshop will introduce you  to the workings of this activity, whilst also addressing how this activity can be adopted to your classroom. Additionally, this workshop will introduce the “K-W-L chart” assessment strategy. This strategy teaches students to reflect on what they know and what they want to know prior to an activity and what they have learned after the completion of a lesson (What do I know, what do I want to learn, what have I learnt). This workshop will use three different case studies and nine viewpoints.

About the Workshop Hosts

Vassiliki Yannou was born in Atra, and now lives in Thessaloniki. She graduated from the Department of History and Archeology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and also holds a MA in Educational Studies from the Open University of Cyprus. For this Ma she did research on the topic of the role of research projects in upper secondary education in Greece. She has taught on the subjects of the Greek language and history History at the upper secondary education in Greece for twenty years. She has been the school librarian since 2015.She has been the deputy Headmistress at the 2nd General Lyceum of Evosmos, Thessaloniki since 2017. Additionally she runs (in cooperation with other colleagues) the rhetoric school club and took part in national school rhetoric competitions.

She also took part in several Erasmus+ ( KA1, KA2, KA3) projects from Euroscola, Teachers for Europe, and EuroClio, which span across the topics of history, literature, culture, citizenship, and school libraries.   She frequents seminars and recentely went to seminars titled: Teenager’s mental health and relationships, Museology and education, Didactics and assessment of History, Distant learning in education.

She speaks Greek, English, and French. She is a mother of two.

27th Annual Conference

This workshop is part of the 27th EuroClio Annual Conference on Controversy and Disagreement in the Classroom. You can find more information on the Annual Conference, including the full programme, on the Annual Conference main page.

Take me to the page…

Workshop Fee

You can register to this single workshop for 15€ , or register to multiple workshops for a reduced fee.

Participation is free for Individual Members, Member Associations, and Ambassadors. Reach out to Djoera at djoera@euroclio.eu to know how to join.

Learning to Disagree

This and many other workshops are based on the Learning Activities and Variety of Viewpoints developed for the Learning to Disagree Project. You can find the Lesson Plan on “Standing up to Power” on Historiana.

Take me to the Lesson Plan on Standing up to Power…

You can find the Lesson Plan on “Great Famine in Greece 1941-1944” on Historiana.

Take me to the Lesson Plan on the Great Famine in Greece 1941-1944.

 

People on the Move: The Arrival of Migrants to Europe in 2015

Workshop by Bistra Stoimenova, Learning to Disagree Team

Bistra is one of the core members of the Learning to Disagree project, and this workshop is one of the results of said project.  Learning to Disagree  was initiated in response to the needs of educators who experience difficulties in addressing sensitive and controversial issues in their classrooms. The project, now in its final stages, offers trainings and support materials for teachers to face these topics head-on with their students. These materials aim to teach students vital skills such as the ability to listen, to consider alternative interpretations, and the ability of interacting with people that they disagree with in a constructive manner.

Students develop critical thinking and the vital competences for dialogue and discussion in classrooms. This workshop is designed for history teachers and civic educators who want to foster the development of these skills.

The lesson plan discussed in this workshop aims to do so by having students deal with a diverse range of sources representing different viewpoints on migration to Europe in 2015 and take part in a discussion on migration to Europe based on recent events. This will help students to develop their knowledge and critical understanding of the complexity of reactions to migration, specifically the reaction to the arrival of the refugees in 2015 and 2016, analyse diverse historical resources, discuss and express their opinions, develop their cooperation skills, and their values of human dignity and human rights.

27th Annual Conference

This workshop is part of the 27th EuroClio Annual Conference on Controversy and Disagreement in the Classroom. You can find more information on the Annual Conference, including the full programme, on the Annual Conference main page.

Take me to the page…

Workshop Fee

You can register to this single workshop for 15€ , or register to multiple workshops for a reduced fee.

Participation is free for Individual Members, Member Associations, and Ambassadors. Reach out to Djoera at djoera@euroclio.eu to know how to join.

Panel Discussion on Learning to Disagree in the Balkan Region

Panellists Marko Suica, Mire Mladenovski, and Rada Pejic-Sremac. Session moderated by Jonathan Even-Zohar.

During this session, Marko Suica, Mire Mladenovski, and Rada Pejic-Sremac, members of EuroClio’s Network in the Balkan Region, will introduce a set of controversial topics in their respective countries, and how they are tackled in the classroom. 

Moderated by the Jonathan Even-Zohar, this panel discussion will then investigate how the teaching strategies presented in the Learning to Disagree project, together with other educational material developed by panelists and by EuroClio in the past,  could be used to deepen students’ understanding of controversial issues brought to the classroom.

Participants to the panel will be given the possibility to ask questions and to intervene with their own example.

27th Annual Conference

This panel discussion is part of the 27th EuroClio Annual Conference on Controversy and Disagreement in the Classroom. You can find more information on the Annual Conference, including the full programme, on the Annual Conference main page.

Take me to the page…

Session Fee

You can register to this single plenary session for 15€ , or register to multiple workshops and sessions for a reduced fee.

Participation is free for Individual Members, Member Associations, and Ambassadors. Reach out to Djoera at djoera@euroclio.eu to know how to join.

Learning to Disagree training in Italy

The project Learning to Disagree was presented in Italy during a National Training organized in cooperation with the Chair of History Education of the University of Bari (Apulia region). The training took place as a cycle of three webinars held in July and focused on strategies to implement learning in times of pandemic.

Speakers during the first two meetings presented resources and examples of tasks developed to foster active learning with students working through online platforms. The last session focused on the challenges that the emergency poses to traditional models of education and knowledge.

Video lessons and materials have been published in Italian on Historia Ludens.

Roberto Maragliano, former professor of Education at Roma Tre University, argued that there is a relevant difference between “physical distance” and “social distance”. Whereas the first one is necessary in our times, teachers should aim at avoiding the second one. He highlighted that the current state of crisis of school teaching in Italy could be an opportunity to revise some of its long-standing principles of inspirations. Italian schooling still favours upper general secondary schools over technical/vocational and primary schools, and keeps alive a conflict between humanistic and scientific culture, as well as verbal and non-verbal learning. Forced online learning put into evidence the pitfalls of this system. Although in the immediate aftermath of the Corona crisis the Italian teachers tended to take on the challenge and look for new approaches, in the following months a strong reaction has tended to debase these attempts. The long-term impact of this phase is thus difficult to foresee and might contribute to confirm an old education model rather than to overcome it.

Antonio Brusa, former professor of History Education at the University of Bari, stated that each generation tends to refer to a presumed former golden age of historical knowledge and identifies a cause of growing historical ignorance in its present time. Nowadays, online learning is taken as the cause of Italian students’ ignorance. Although he admitted that many Italian students were not able to take advantage of online learning, Brusa claimed that digital resources enabled millions of them to keep on learning. Thus, online learning should be seen as part of the solution. However, Brusa pointed out that using technologies and new media is not enough to innovate transmissive approaches to teaching and learning. On the opposite, teachers should be aware of the risk that the use of up-to-date digital technologies covers a very traditional, teacher-centred approach. Moreover, the use of technologies must base on awareness of the epistemology of the disciplines and specific aims of each lesson. These, in turn, depend on real pupils and students.

Mr Paolo Ceccoli, former EuroClio President, opened the first session by presenting the Association and its activities. This was of special interest for Italian teachers because there is not a single strong association of history teachers in the country. This a great occasion to present Euroclio activities in Italy.

Mr Valerio Bernardi, member of the core team of Learning to Disagree, described the aims and the teaching materials that have been produced. In the first session, he introduced and showed some aspects of the teaching guide and how the project developed during the years. He also presented the activities prepared from the core team and published on Historiana. During the second session, he provided a detailed presentation of the activity about migration and the Vlora case study (which will also be presented at the 2020 EuroClio Annual Conference, see link). One third of the participants expressed a will to use the material proposed in class next year.

Ms Lucia Boschetti, who is working on a PhD in History Education at the University of Bari, focused on playful learning in history. She stressed the importance of creative learning and presented an activity set up in the 16th century. It aimed at enabling students to understand the changes in the concept of citizenship from Modern Times to European citizenship through playing interactive stories. Moreover, she explained how the free programming language Scratch supports the development of computational thinking as well as of historical thinking. Indeed, by creating a project about the crisis of the 14th century by using Scratch, students have to ask themselves questions about historical relevance and causality.

Mr Cesare Grazioli, who has published several articles about teaching contemporary history in Italy, explained how he planned and implemented materials to assess students’ historical thinking skills when learning online. He proposed examples of both formative and summative assessment. Attendee particularly appreciated an assignment which required students to select, analyse and use images as evidence of contention regarding political and social problems in the aftermath of the Second World War.

75 teachers followed at least 2/3 of the course, and 63 of them answered a final survey. On the basis of the results, attendees were equally distributed between lower secondary and upper secondary schools and came from all around Italy, although the majority worked in Apulia.

The course aimed to offer an opportunity for training but also to create a community of educators wishing to exchange ideas, doubts and experiences. The attendee particularly appreciated this aspect. Indeed 94% of them declared that they would like to join other meetings to discuss about daily teaching routine with colleagues. A higher percentage agreed that digital resources can contribute to improving the quality of teaching and learning after the pandemic. As argued by experts, teachers can achieve this result if they can plan their lessons with an awareness of the aims and methods of history teaching. Otherwise, online teaching and learning are likely to strengthen the comeback of a purely transmissive approach to the discipline, which proved to be poorly effective regardless of in-class or on-line teaching.

 

Written by Valerio Bernardi, history teacher and member of the Learning to Disagree team & Lucia Boschetti, PhD candidate in History Education at the University of Bari

 

How to bring, discuss, and evaluate diverse perspectives in the classroom. The case of Migrants.

Workshop by Matej Matkovic, Learning to Disagree Team

The first workshop of our online conference is a product of the Learning to Disagree project. This project was initiated in response to the needs of educators who experience difficulties in addressing sensitive and controversial issues in their classrooms. The project, now in its final stages, offers trainings and support materials for teachers to face these topics head first with their students, subsequently teaching students vital skills such as the ability to listen, to consider alternative interpretations, and the ability of interacting with people that they disagree with in a constructive manner. Skills they will enjoy far beyond the classroom.

Additionally, in a time of growing division, where intolerance creates an “us-versus-them” attitude among social groups, it is essential for students to learn how to deal with controversial subjects, and how to cope with a variety of viewpoints and disagreements. And therefore it is also important that teachers include methods of dialogue, debate and discussion in their lessons, and deal with controversies.

Matej is a core member of the Learning to Disagree team and will gladly introduce you to the methodologies and teachers guide he has been working on for the last three years. His workshop will be divided in three parts. The first part will allow you to experience the newly developed lesson plan for students first hand. This lesson plan will consist of what we call “a variety of viewpoints”, in which participants are introduced to a collection of written texts and media images about migration. Based on these materials, you and your fellow colleagues from across Europa are asked to form an opinion on migration to Europe and subsequently discuss these opinions in a group. In the second part, Matej will introduce the rationale behind the lesson, e.g. the teachers’ guide, focusing on how to use the teachers’ guide in different classrooms. In the final part, Matej will ask you to share your  views on the teaching strategy and assessment methods presented.

About the Workshop Host..

I am history and geography teacher from Slovenia. I graduated on Faculty of Arts in University of Ljubljana. I have worked in primary school for last 15 years. I have been involved with EuroClio since 2015 when I participated in my first Annual Conference in Denmark. Since then I participated in several of EuroClio’s Balkan Summer Schools and of course the Learning to Disagree project. I am also involved in several national educational projects in Slovenia. At the moment, the focus of my work is introducing ICT in history teaching.

27th Annual Conference

This workshop is part of the 27th EuroClio Annual Conference on Controversy and Disagreement in the Classroom. You can find more information on the Annual Conference, including the full programme, on the Annual Conference main page.

Take me to the page…

Workshop Fee

You can register to this single workshop for 15€ , or register to multiple workshops for a reduced fee.

Participation is free for Individual Members, Member Associations, and Ambassadors. Reach out to Djoera at djoera@euroclio.eu to know how to join.

Learning to Disagree

This and many other workshops are based on the Learning Activities and Variety of Viewpoints developed for the Learning to Disagree Project. You can find the Lesson Plan on “People on the Move” on Historiana.

Take me to the Lesson Plan…

 

 

 

Dealing with Controversy and Polarisation in the Classroom

Maarten van Alstein, Flemish Peace Institute

Why is it important that we learn to disagree with each other? How can we teach young people to disagree in a democratic and peaceful manner? Starting from concrete cases in classroom practice, the key note lecture will build on empirical research, democratic theory and insights from conflict transformation to make a case for conceptualizing the school as a laboratory for democracy. In this view, the school is seen as a place where students – through a wide diversity of methods ranging from dialogue to artistic practice – can explore their differences in a constructive manner.

The Keynote Lecture will be preceded by words of welcome from Steven Stegers, EuroClio Executive Director

27th Annual Conference

The Keynote Lecture is part of the 27th EuroClio Annual Conference on Controversy and Disagreement in the Classroom. You can find more information on the Annual Conference, including the full programme, on the Annual Conference main page.

Take me to the main page…

Public Report Utrecht Training August 2019

Charlotte Pontifell Report

Public Report Utrecht Training August 2019

The fourth training of the Learning to Disagree project took place in Utrecht (The Netherlands) from 19 to 21 August 2019 and was organised by EUROCLIO and Utrecht University. For the training 23 history and citizenship educators were present from the following 16 countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom. This includes staff of the project partners, and a core team of Historiana volunteers that was formed during the previous short-term training that took place in 2018 Serbia. During this training, they continued to work more intensively on the project results, especially on  the historical content that will be featured on Historiana[1], lesson plans that will accompany the content, and National Trainings that will be organised between February and July 2020 to disseminate the final products to the wider community of history educators.

 

This meeting was conducted within the framework of the EUROCLIO-led Erasmus+ project “Learning to Disagree” (L2D) which runs from September 2017 – August 2020.

 

The 3-day training consisted of a variety of activities that were relevant to the project topic, including the visualisation of the online environment where the final results will be published. In addition, participants received an active training session on multiperspectivity in history education. There were also 11 active workshops on the leasson plans developed by the core team, and an interactive session (World Café) on controversial buildings, monuments, and changing street names in the countries represented at the training. Further work was done on the Variety of Viewpoints, one of the key project outputs, and finally the participants learned more about the controversy around street names related to the colonial past of the Netherlands.

 

The main aims of this meeting were:

  • To work together on designing source collections and learning ideas related to Cultural Heritage.
  • To enhance knowledge on the controversies and sensitivities related to Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands.
  • To peer-review the developed lesson plans and provide inputs for finalisation for piloting process.
  • To be trained in the use of dialogue, debate and discussion in relation to the topics 1) People on the Move, 2) Changing Borders and 3) Surviving under Pressure.
  • To agree on the piloting procedure including what inputs to collect, how to integrate this, and timing.
  • To co-design the framework for the training package that will be used to organise the 13 national training events in Spring 2020.

[1] Historiana is a webplatform build by EUROCLIO that Historiana offers free historical content, ready to use learning activities, and innovative digital tools made by and for history educators across Europe. For more information see: https://www.historiana.eu

 

Full Report: Public Report Utrecht Training August 2019

3rd Transnational Project Meeting for the Opening Up Historiana project

In “Opening up Historiana” EuroClio will involve more people and organisations in the development and use of Historiana. In the 3rd transnational project meeting new ideas for the activity builder on Historiana will be developed. Also tools and the further development of partner pages will be discussed in this closed meeting.

What do teachers have to say on debating controversial subjects in the classroom?



In the early stage of the Learning to Disagree project, Georg Eckert Institute researchers performed a needs assessment, to collect the opinions and input from educators on the issue of debate, dialogue, and discussion in the classroom. Six focus group discussions were held, involving 25 participants from 23 European countries. Based on the data collected, a survey was developed, which gathered information from 117 respondents.

A number of findings were made based on the data collected. Firstly, the inquiry identified a working definition of contested issues, which refer mostly to disputes based on competing, often irreconcilable values. Contested issues were mostly found in recent history, and were often of a national rather than international character. Concrete examples of contested issues teachers deal with in the classroom are both World Wars, Fascism, Communism, the Cold War, and migration, among others.

Participants of the focus groups and respondents from the survey identified dialogue, discussions and debates as tools of paramount importance in order to encourage students to deal with multiple perspectives on contested issues. The ability of educators to implement these tools is often hindered by factors such as a lack of resources representing different viewpoints, the duty of neutrality of educators, ingrained nationalism in society, and political pressure by authorities.

From the data collected, three main teaching approaches to contested issues were identified: the critical thinking, the “battling” stereotypes and the creation of empathy approaches. The critical thinking approach is based on critical assessment of sources taken from a variety of perspectives, underlining how different societal groups experienced the same events differently, and encouraging an understanding of history as a complex, multi-perspective discipline. Secondly, the “battling” stereotypes engages students directly on biases they may have. Students are confronted with the historical wrongdoings of their own social groups, and challenged on their potential lack of knowledge on minorities and other perspectives. Lastly, the creating empathy approach attempts emotionally engage students in order to prompt feelings of genuine interest and care, which will aid the creation of empathy in the classroom.

These findings identified in the Preliminary Needs Assessment will inform the creation of material for the next intellectual outputs of the Learning to Disagree project, such as the exemplar content the teacher’s guides, the training package and, eventually, the recommendations to policymakers.



Successful Meeting for the LHH Group in Serbia

From 22 to 25 March, the Learning a History that is ‘not yet History’ (LHH) Group has met up in Belgrade and Topola to have a training event. This was also their last meeting for this part of the project. On the first day of the event, the LHH group gathered at the EU Info Centre in Belgrade to hold a Stakeholder’s Dialogue. The goal of the stakeholder’s dialogue was to reflect on previous initiatives and achievements in the field of responsible education in the Western Balkan and to come up with a regional strategy for future work on regional cooperation in history education. After that, they moved to Hotel Oplenac in Topola for two days to participate in workshops (both for the LHH project and Learning to Disagree project) and have a future active planning session. There was also the official launch of the devedesete.net website by Aleksandar Todosijević and Miljenko Hajdarović. This website offers a variety of multi-lingual sources on the wars in the 90’s. The overarching theme of workshops was to show new ways of teaching about the former Yugoslavia wars in the 1990’s. The War(s) in Photos workshop, developed by Nataša Kostić and Bojana Dujković Blagojević, explored how utilizing real pictures of the events and making students discuss different the elements they contain can make it easier to put events in perspective.

The future active planning session took place on the final day of the Topola event. In it was discussed how the history teachers associations want to move ahead and what would be the best way for regional cooperation. It was clear that there is great enthusiasm within the LHH group to continue cooperating in order to achieve the project goals, and it was emphasized that EuroClio should be a part of this despite the leaving of Director Jonathan Even-Zohar. EUROLCIO is very satisfied with the events in Serbia and looks forward to the inevitable progress that future cooperation will bring.