How We Lived Together in Georgia

As in most countries, history education in Georgia is written in a national framework. Traditionally, in National Standards and school history textbooks there is little room for minitories to feature in the history classroom. In order to change this, the Georgian Association of History Education has worked on an approach to teaching about the past that can decrease tensions across boundaries of countries, and between ethnic and religious communities, and fostering mutual understanding. One of the major achievements in this respect has been the development of a student-centered teaching tool ‘How we Lived Together in Georgia in the 20th Century’[1], which is a collection of twenty-nine modules offering new sources, methodology and teaching ideas for the classroom on topics related to Everyday and Family Life, Religion, Migration and Multicultural Life in Georgia in the 20th century. This complementary resource targeted at students from 9th to 12th grade gives evidence of the capacity of the authors and editors to develop practical classroom material. It aims to make history an engaging subject for students by presenting them in a lively way “why”, like the introduction to the book says, “people with different ethnic and religious identities considered themselves part of (the Georgian) society, and what have made them feel marginalized”.

GAHE is full partner of the  regional project of Eastern Partnership Cultural Programs-“Sharing History, Cultural Dialogues”, and in this framework, On May 11, 2013 and June 8, 2013, workshops were organised in the multicultural region of Georgia- Kvemo Kartli, in Marneuli and Bolnisi on how to teach a common past in multiethnic societies. Furthermore, a workshop was held in Batumi on 13 and 14 July 2013 was held on novelties in history teaching and cultural education  in contemporary times and with training on how to teach common and shared past in multiethnic societies)  for  school teachers of history, civic and cultural education of Adjara. In addition, on 9-10 November 2013, in honor of the international week of tolerance, GAHE organized a workshop in Akhalkalaki- Akhaltsikhe on how to Teach Common, Shared Past in Multiethnic Society, in cooperation with The  Regional Office of Ombudsman  in Samtskhe-Javakheti, the Innovation Laboratory of Classical Gymnasium, ICOMOS- Georgia and the National Museum of Georgia.

Project Aims

  1. To build the capacity building of 100 educators (mostly history teachers) in from remote areas and minority communities who are involved in the teaching and learning of history and culture of Georgia in these approaches to teaching about the past.
  2. To stimulate dialogue between and exchange of experience of educators in Georgia from various regions disciplines and between educators with different cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds.
  3. To work with five regional branches of the Georgian Association of History Educators in the organization of training for educators thereby strengthening their capacities.

Results

  1. Professional Development of 100 educators (history teachers of Russian, Azeri and Armenian schools) through regional and local trainings in approaches to teach about the past that includes minority communities.
  2. Involvement of educators from minority backgrounds and/or living in remote areas as active members of the Georgian Association of History Educators.
  3. Increased use of the educational resource “How we lived together in Georgia in the 20th Century”, especially amongst Russian speaking educators and students (Russian, Azeri and Armenian schools).

Key publications

The project made use of and disseminated the educational resource and publication “How we Lived Together in the 20th Century in Georgia, published in 2011 in the context of the Project “Tolerance Building through History Education” (2008-2011) in both Georgian and Russian. The publication was edited by Rumyana Kusheva, lisabed Chubinishvili, Nina Zulumiani, Manana Shekiladze and Evelina Mamedova.

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Project Managers

Donors

Swiss Embassy | Small Grants

Contributors

GAHE:

Nana Tsikhistavi, President

Tsira Chikvaidze

Partners

Georgian Association of History Educators