Challenging Perceptions: Participatory Learning Session with European Policymakers

Jaco Stoop Association ,

On 21 April, EuroClio Programme Director Steven Stegers and EuroClio trainee Laura Steenbrink attended a meeting organised by the Ministry of Education of the Netherlands that brought together policymakers in the field of education from all over Europe in The Hague. The group visited Pro Demos - House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, where the rules of democracy are explained in an interactive manner. Following the visit to Pro Demos, Steven Stegers presented EuroClio’s approach to the topic of media literacy and how to use media literacy to combat radicalisation. He shared EuroClio’s thoughts on media literacy and history education, and explained how history influences the way we see ourselves and the way we see each other. Four other NGOs active in the field of media literacy also presented their work. An interactive meeting where all NGOs offered policymakers their different approaches followed, leading to interesting discussions between policymakers and NGO representatives.

Steven Stegers offered the policymakers some recommendations for history education and education in general. His main recommendations are: Students should be challenged to critically think for themselves and should have more opportunities to disagree with the teachers, also during exams. Furthermore, professional development and teacher training should be developed so that educators are able to liaise with peers on how to have difficult conversations, address challenging histories, and share experience and methods with colleagues.