Exploring European History and Heritage

In this project we will develop, test and implement an online tool to learn about European history and heritage, tailor made for use in secondary education. The tool will consist of a freely accessible data-base with educational material that is searchable by theme, period and location and is presented in teaching units for one lesson. The material will be designed in such a way, that it is complementary to the history, heritage and geography education curricula and motivates a new generation to learn about Europe. Unique about the tool will be the option to make inter- and intra-state comparisons and see European history and heritage from multiple perspectives.

This tool will make young people aware of the current impact of Europe on their personal lives. The European perspective helps us not only to look at our own past through the eyes of the “other”, but also to understand differences in order to overcome divisions, and to transform history into a workshop of cross-cultural dialogue that examines multiple interpretations of the past instead of one “correct” version of history.

The tool will be allow educators to access wealth of material, see the national history in its European context, make comparison and see parallels. The project will promote the use of ICT in secondary education and the creative and innovative use of maps, audiovisual material and interactive sources. The material will be accessible for everybody with an internet connection via the fast fiber connected play-out co-locations of Digital Film Center BV EU.

The involvement of experts from Edinburgh University, Erasmus University and the Georg Eckert Institute will ensure the high quality of the educational material. The project results will be implemented in most European countries with help of several European wide umbrella organisations connecting more than 200 museum, teacher and heritage associations.

In addition, a grant by the Open Society Foundation provided professional training opportunities for history, heritage and citizenship educators who work in Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia or the Ukraine. These countries are excluded from the Lifelong Learning Programme and are amongst the countries that have least opportunities despite their common problems (including the lack of appropriate educational tools to educate culturally diverse classrooms). Participants in/of the training were invited to join the Historiana programme in which an educational online tool on history and heritage from a European perspective was developed.

Project Aims

  • The development of educational modules.
  • The development of an online working environment.
  • The training of a team of authors.
  • The training of educators.
  • Setting up a sustainable network for cooperation and dissemination and exploitation of the project results.

In addition,

  • Train at least 200 professionals in the use of multiperspectivity and inclusive teaching materials during international training seminars in Hungary, Turkey and the Republic of Macedonia.
  • Include at least 10 representatives from Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and the Ukraine in the development of materials for the Historiana website.
  • Support colleagues who volunteer to contribute educational material by providing feedforward from the editors and by improving guidelines for contributors.
  • Get feedback from representatives of many European Countries, including Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and the Ukraine, on the usability and relevance of the Historiana framework for the educational practices in their respective countries.

Results

On educational modules:

  • An Author’s Guide has been developed that aim to give all information that is needed for people working on the development of educational material.
  • Templates for Case Studies, Source Galleries, Specific Timelines and Teaching and Learning Ideas have been developed that will help the people working on the development of educational material to put this material in the right format.
  • Exemplars modules have been developed to show how a good educational module can look like.
  • An overview of all educational modules that are being developed as part of the Exploring European History and Heritage project has been developed.

 

On the online working environment:

  • The webdevelopers have developed a online Click Model to visualize how the website will look like and to reach common agreements within the development team.
  • The webdevelopers and editors have worked together to develop tree-structures that are needed for the development of the only work environment. Such structures have been developed for Source Types, Groups and Categories of People, Types of Locations and Themes and Subthemes.
  • The webdevelopers and editors have agreed on the basic structure that the educational tool should have for its users.
  • The webdevelopers have identified software that they can use to integrate maps and timelines in the online work environment.

 

On the training of a team of authors:

  • A team of 20 authors from various countries across Europe have been trained during events in Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Turkey. During these events the authors have been able to give each other feedback and think collaboratively about the best format of the common work. Special attention has been paid in training authors to make material that is multiperspective and inclusive.
  • The result of this training has been that the authors have developed a wide variety of educational modules. An overview of the modules that are under development can be downloaded from the project website www.exploringhistory.eu.

 

On the training of educators:

  • Training seminars where educators from across Europe could participate took place in the Netherlands (11-14 November) and Turkey (21-23 January 2011).
  • Preparations for additional training events have made for seminars in Riga (7-10 July 2011) and in Hungary (27-30 October 2011).

 

On setting up a sustainable network:

  • The involvement of 18 History Teachers Associations and interest from many more to implement the material, to receive training and to become partner in follow up projects.
  • Expressed interest in the project from organisations that can provide access to schools including the British Council and European Schoolnet creating opportunities for follow up projects and the more widespread use of the project’s materials.
  • Expressed interest in the project from organisations that can provide access to digitized sources including major museums and archives such a the Victoria and Albert Museum, Imperial War Museum, UK National Archives, International Institute for Social History and Center Virtuel de la Connaissance de l’Europe.
  • The creation of a list of online resources where source material that is in the public domain or licensed under creative commons can be found that will be re-used in follow up activities.

 

In addition:

  • The project has resulted in clearer guidance for contributors to the Historiana programme.
  • The project has offered a variety of professional development opportunities for over 200 educators from countries that have little opportunities.
  • Educators from Armenia, Azerbaijan Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine have been trained during international training in Hungary, Poland, and Turkey and a national training in Azerbaijan.
  • During these meetings the educators seized the opportunity to meet and discuss with colleagues from other countries.

Additional Information

Educational resources developed:

 

Included material from other projects:

Urban Kaleidoscope, by

 

1001-Idee: Muslim Cultures and History (Zwischentöne), by

 

Five Centuries of Migration in the Netherlands, by

 

 

 

Part of the initiative

Supported by

Education Support Program

Partners

Consortium partners:

Erfgoed Nederland (Netherlands Institute of Heritage)

WEBtic

University of Edinburgh

Centre for Historical Culture at the Erasmus University Rotterdam

Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research

NE-MO Network of European Museums Organisations

Europa Nostra - The pan-European Federation for Heritage

EUSTORY - History Network for Young Europeans

EUROGEO - European Network of Geography Teachers’ Association

Digital Film Center Europe BV

 

Content partners:

Europeana

International Institute of Social History

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Imperial War Museum

UK National Archives

Center Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe

Project Managers

Joke van der Leeuw-Roord, EUROCLIO Executive Director

Steven Stegers, EUROCLIO Project Coordinator

Dagmar Kusa, former EUROCLIO Project Coordinator

Contributors

Consortium partners:

Astrid Weij, Cees Hageman (Netherlands Institute for Heritage)

Robert Stradling (University of Edinburgh)

Bogdan Murgescu, Gabriele Woidelko (EUSTORY)

Laurie Neale, Sneska Quaedvlieg-Milhailovic (Europa Nostra)

Margharita Sani, Mechtild Krönenberg (NE-MO)

Harry Rogge, Karl Donert (EUROGEO)

Dr. Maria Grever (Centre for Historical Culture)

Dr. Robert Maiaer (Georg Eckert Institute)

Floris Kolvenbach (Digital Film Center Europe BV)

 

Content contributors:

Elma Hasimbegovic, Lars Mueller, Sylvia Semmet, Marína Zavacká, Yosanne Vella, Robert Stradling, Dzintra Liepina, Mire Mladenovski, David Parra, Hanna Kokkonen, Lóa Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir, Maria Georgiou, Marzia Gigli, Neil McLennan, Nicolas Smague, Joanna Wojdan, Eleni Kanava, Chris Rowe, Maja Micudova.