EuroClio is mentioned in the new report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education

Adriana Fuertes EUROCLIO , ,

The new report of the Special Rapporteur ​UN OHCHR on the cultural dimensions of the right to education or the right to education as a cultural right is now available, and EuroClio's input is mentioned six times in the document.

The UN Special Rapporteur, Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, calls for the right to education to be viewed as a cultural right – that is, as the right of each person to the cultural resources necessary to freely follow a process of identification, to experience mutually rewarding relations, to deal with the crucial challenges facing our world and to engage in the practices that make it possible to take ownership of and contribute to these resources. This cultural dimensions of the right to education is crucial to ensure that the universal right to inclusive and quality education is realized, as called for in Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Some of the contributions that have been considered from EuroClio are that intercultural education is important to address issues of national minorities and indigenous communities, as well as migrants and refugees. However, the situation varies by country - sometimes with a very small curriculum - where existing multicultural realities are not covered.

Moreover, some submissions emphasized the importance of giving schools a degree of freedom when it came to defining their learning program, with standard requirements for each subject by compulsory common topics but without defining specific learning content, which allows schools to take into account the cultural diversity of its students appropriate to their specific context. However, in many cases, education systems remain highly centralized and local actors are deprived of the opportunity to develop curricula that take into account cultural diversity and the local situation. Nevertheless, there are countries where alternative historical narratives have developed as a result of national policies on minorities.

In any case, what is unique about this approach is its conception of educational life as a living relationship between actors (students, educators, organizations, and other associated actors) and collections of knowledge that form shared cultural resources, vectors of identity, values and meaning, without which action is impossible.


Education Partnership for Advocacy, Capacity-Building and Transformation: Public Report

EuroClio Project Updates , , ,

Within the Education Partnership for Advocacy, Capacity-Building and Transformation (ePACT) project, 6 national Peer-Training events will be organised in close cooperation with our 6 local partners in the Western Balkans. To prepare for these meetings, the national coordinators together joined forces with additional members from the associations for a Preparatory Meeting integrated in the second Regional Summer School in Lovćen, Montenegro from 12-17 July 2016. The coordinators discussed the timeline and planning of the upcoming national events that are designed to get valuable feedback to the Regional Needs Assessment that is planned within the ePACT project, on a national level. The survey for the Needs Assessment is planned to be disseminated in early 2017 and already received feedback from regional experts during the first Standing Working Group meeting on History Education in Vienna (June, 2016). Now project researchers Dea Marić and Rodoljub Jovanović hosted another feedback session to the survey during the summer school.


Download the public report by clicking this link: Report Preparatory Meeting National Peer-training Events ePACT

European Commemoration Report Europaeische Errineringskulturen now available!

Late 2014 the German Foreign Office organized in cooperation with several partners an international Conference under the title European Commemoration – Europäische Erinnerungskulturen 2014 with participants from the world of academia, education and media. The report is now available here. EuroClio Founder and Special Advisor Joke van der Leeuw-Roord had a prominent role in chairing the education-related workshops. Also video-footage and an interview with her is available here, and the overall panel is available here.

A publication on European Commemoration with in-depth articles on this topic by several Conference participants will be available by the end of the year.

Stop to Teach History or More Multiperspectivity? EuroClio Ambassador Klaus Bjerre Reports from Skopje Conference on Historiography and History Education

This report below written by EuroClio Ambassador Klaus Bjerre (Denmark) 

History in the Balkans is dominated by political history. The nation is often seen as a collective agent that has aspired to freedom, sovereignty,and welfare since the very beginning of history. Some aspects of élite culture are included in textbooks, but social and economic history are mostly marginalized. Social history can show that the ethnicities in the Balkans have a lot in common, but textbooks tend to be seen as an instrument for strengthening national consciousness, rather than something that should help young people to have knowledge and values that can help them to live in a multicultural society. Common to the narratives is the claim that the now existing nationalities originated at the time of the birth of humanity, and that the in-group is a victim, the out-group a perpetrator. THEY occupy – WE liberate; WE inhabit – THEY colonize.

Historiography and History Education in the South Slavic- and Albanian-Speaking Regions was the theme at a Conference held in early June in Skopje. The organizers were the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (Braunschweig), the Institute for National History (Skopje), and the Institute for Spiritual and Cultural Heritage of the Albanians (Skopje). (ed. Conference is part of this project)

The central theme was Slavic narratives about Albanians, and Albanian narratives about Slavs, in textbooks as well as in academic literature. Narratives from both Albania and Serbia were included, but as the conference was in Skopje, it was natural that Macedonian and Albanian narratives from Macedonia were in focus (Albanians constitute more than a quarter of the population in Macedonia).

Dragi Gjorgiev, from the Macedonian Institute for National History, stated that history teaching in Macedonia lacks a critical dimension, as well as pupils’ activity and involvement. He referred to Joke van der Leeuw-Roord’s report from 2012 “A Key to Unlock the Past, History Education in Macedonia” (ed. which was part of a EuroClio/ANIM Project on History Education) and said that much too little had been improved in recent years.

Teachers in Macedonian schools must choose chapters from the textbooks in order to limit the contents. The result is that ethnic Macedonian students are told an ethnic Macedonian narrative, while Albanian students are told an Albanian narrative (the schools are segregated). Since the 1990s, most derogatory terms have been removed, but the texts still harbor lots of implicit stereotypes and prejudices. Teachers are not allowed to teach any period after 1991.
A lot of time in lessons is spent on “questions and answers”, memorizing the textbook, instead of on discussion or inquiry within the subject matter.
The history curriculum is the only Macedonian curriculum that has not been changed in the last decade. There is a so-called ‘moratorium’, because the issue is politically sensitive.

Textbooks in Albania are ethnocentric as well. Most are written by the same authors who wrote the textbooks in the era of Enver Hoxha. The ideological content has been altered, but much of the structure is the same. The Illyrians had state traditions before the Romans came, the Slavs were barbarians who colonized the Illyrian area and assimilated the northern Illyrians, etc., etc.

At one point, a participant asked rhetorically “Wouldn’t it be better to stop teaching history?” This may reflect widespread pessimism, but one positive aspect was that the participants in the conference unanimously agreed on the need for improvement in history teaching. More multiperspectivity. More social history should be included in textbooks. The tradition of reproduction and learning by heart should be changed. It may be hard work to change textbooks and curricula but, as professor Eckhardt Fuchs (Georg Eckert Institute) said in a concluding remark: use your influences wherever you are, speak out and form strong networks.

The full overview of the project’s activities and outcomes can be found here:

EuroClio Publication Addressed by German World Service DW

EuroClio history publication Once Upon A Time … We Lived Together is described as a good step to encouraging students to think about multi-perspective stories and reflect on differences between representations throughout history, according to DW report on “South Eastern Europe: The First World War in Textbooks”. It will enable education to “try to bring into balance the various interpretations in order to arrive at a common European history.”

The report discusses the questions students are faced with when the first world war in South Eastern Europe: Was the assassin of Sarajevo a hero or a terrorist? What are the reasons for the outbreak of the First World War? And notes that students in Southeast European countries get different answers in their textbooks. For example, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the textbooks are divided along ethnic lines: There’s own history of Serbian, Croatian and Muslim Bosnians. Thus is where EUROLCIO’s publication illustrating the events in the former Yugoslavia from the period 1912-1945 from different angles is useful. “There is an attempt to shed light on the assassination of Franz Ferdinand with various sources.”

Read the full article here.

Report on First National Seminar in Armenia, Yerevan State University

EuroClio Project Updates , ,

The first national seminar within the project ‘Sharing History, Cultural Dialogues. Innovating History Education in the Black Sea Region’, addressed to history teachers from the Republic of Armenia, took place on 23rd March 2013 at the Yerevan State University. The trainings were organized by the Armenian Association of History Educators (AAHE) in partnership with EuroClio, with an attendance of 42 teachers from the all regions of Armenia. The participants were involved in active workshops, based on the experience of history teachers and trainers from Georgia and Armenia. On the long run working tasks for the national group were established according to the aims and objectives of the project. This training session resulted to be very effective both as for their teaching skills and for the Project’s further planning. Besides, the participation of international trainers as well as University professors was very useful for exchanging experience and developing skills.

The report of the training will be available soon.
If interested in additional information, please contact Aysel Gojayeva.
Click here to read more about ‘Sharing History, Cultural Dialogues’ project.

Public Launch of EuroClio Analysis on History Education in Republic of Macedonia

On 29th of August, between 11.00-12.30, the EuroClio Analysis Report “A Key to Unlock the Past, History Education in Macedonia: Analysis of Today, Suggestions for the Future” will be launched. Minister of Education and Science Pance Kralev and Deputy-Minister Safet Neziri are invited to receive and comment on the findings. The Launch will be introduced by Mire Mladenovski (President of Association of History Educators in Macedonia, ANIM) and Besnik Emini (Vice-President of Association of History Educators in Macedonia, ANIM). Joke van der Leeuw-Roord, Executive-Director of EuroClio, will introduce the finding of the report and present them to the Minister. Chief-Inspector for History in England, Mr Michael Maddison (OFSTED) will give his views on the findings. The Launch will take place at the EU Info Centre in the European Union Delegation Building. The event is public, but please register by sending and e-mail to Mirjam Zeilmaker.