In partnership with the Colombo-based Collective for Historical Dialogue and Memory (CHDM), the University of Peradeniya and the Strengthening Social Cohesion and Peace in Sri Lanka (SCOPE) programme of the German development agency GIZ, EuroClio organised a seminar on historical thinking concepts in Kandy, Sri Lanka, 27-28 January 2023. The seminar was funded through SCOPE. SCOPE is co-financed by the EU and the German Federal Foreign Office, and implemented by GIZ in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka.

Participants share ideas for future educational materials to develop

Welcoming a group of 25 Sri Lankan history educators, the seminar focused on the historical thinking concepts as developed by the late Peter Seixas, providing examples and illustrations relevant to the national curriculum. The seminar is the continuation of a collaboration between EuroClio and the GIZ that began in 2021 and is the first in a series of capacity building events organised in the framework of the Histories that Connect – Sri Lanka II project.

The overall aim of the collaboration is to foster a network of history teachers connecting all parts of Sri Lanka, working together with the CHDM to improve conditions for history learning in all areas of the island.

The seminar kicked off with a memory walk of the historic city of Kandy by Dr. Sudesh Mantilleke of the University of Peradeniya, highlighting the history of Kandy, including the complex history of Kandyan Dance and its links to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic located at the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy.

An animator was present at the seminar to visually record the various activities

Selected from more than 60 applicants, the seminar participants arrived from all areas of the island of Sri Lanka with simultaneous interpretation between English, Sinhala and Tamil languages facilitating peer exchanges and learning. EuroClio was represented by project managers Eugenie Khatschatrian and Andreas Holtberget, as well as Ambassador Elise Storck of Leiden University. President of the International Society for History Didactics, Dr. Susanne Popp of Augsburg University, completed the EuroClio delegation joining colleagues at SCOPE and CHDM, with Susanne Popp and Elise Storck delivering workshops on the concepts of causes & consequences, continuity & change and significance.

Involving teachers and history educators from both public and private schools, CHDM and EuroClio will continue with a joint effort at developing educational materials that are multiperspective and sensitive to the difficult history of Sri Lanka.