History and/or Citizenship Education? Council of Europe Moves Forward in the Inter-Governmental Project on “Quality History Education for the 21st Century” in Utrecht, 27-28 June

Tatiana Milko addresses history educators at the Council of Europe WEST meeting in Utrecht.

The Council of Europe has been able in recent years to work toward an overarching design of competences, including values, attitudes, skills and knowledge, which support living together as equals in a democracy. This very important project is complemented by the 2016-2020 Council of Europe project “Educating for Diversity and Democracy. Quality History Education in the 21st Century” which seeks to identify effective practice through four regional seminars where practitioners and policy makers are brought together, and the production of guidelines on quality history education for a diverse set of audiences.

Underpinning the complementary between the two initiative is the firm belief of history educators that the subject does have a unique contribution to make to the ‘making of good citizens’. Yet, as Citizenship Education is put forward more and more as the key tool for various societal challenges, it is up to history educators and their peers to identify with more precision how they can support such larger aims.

Recently, on 27-28 June, EUROCLIO supported actively the planning and organisation of the third regional seminar, which took place in Utrecht – very kindly hosted by The Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the University of Utrecht. At this seminar history education stakeholders (including teachers, policy makers, curriculum designers and developers of educational resources) dealt with three quite complex themes: (1) history teaching contributing to diverse inclusive societies; (2) critical historical thinking in the digital age; and (3) teaching sensitive and controversial history.

A detailed report of the findings will become available at the website of the Council of Europe in the coming period.

EUROCLIO is glad to be an important partner in this project, having supported the first two regional seminars as well. In June 2016, in partnership with EUROCLIO Ambassador Mare Oja and the Estonian Association of Civic and History Educators (EAS), the first regional seminar took place in Tallinn, and in October 2016, EUROCLIO Members from countries all over Southern Europe took part in the 2nd Regional Seminar in Alexandroupoli in Greece.

For the period 2018-2020 the detailed plan of action will become clear at a later moment, but certainly EUROCLIO can look forward to further support its key objective: to position history education firmly in the wider framework of the Council of Europe and its 47 member states.

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