History Education beyond Borders

Mapping and Sharing Global Experiences in Developing and Implementing History Education Resources

The project HEBB was a means to create a structural conversation among expert-practitioners from Europe and Northeast Asia who seek to develop and successfully implement cross-border history education resources, with a specific eye to the reconciliatory potential of history education. It is best characterized as a project which brought experienced editors and authors of cross-border history education resources together, challenged them to share their experiences in a structural way, as to identify best practice and document the approaches in a practical way so that they become transferable. The project did not produce an academic research output, but rather opened a discussion about process and approach among those that have similar experiences in dealing with complicated, sensitive and controversial history on the cross-border level. As editors or authors of such resources, they were not a neutral group of researchers, but themselves active stakeholders and certainly also can be seen as active civil society.

Project Aims

The project aimed to initiate a comprehensive knowledge sharing between Europe and Northeast Asia on the need, approach, impact and sustainability of cross-border history education resources, such as joint history textbooks, or online resources.
  • To identify the needs of experts and authors of cross-border history education resources in Northeast Asia for further development and implementation of these resources.
  • To clarify the learning expectations that these experts and authors have of the European experiences.
  • To work with all relevant European and Global partners who have engaged in the development and implementation of cross-border history education resources in order to come to a common, and practical overview of approaches.
  • To produce practical guidelines for the development and implementation of cross-border history education resources.
  • To offer all identified information, including an overview of existing, current or expected initiatives for cross-border history education resource development on a free-for-all web-portal.
  • To evaluate the added value of the sharing of experiences among Europe, Northeast Asia and other global stakeholder with a view on deepening the project in a next phase.

Expected Outcomes

  • The project generated a longterm effect on the issue of reconciliation on historical issues, by opening new avenues for work, methodology and approach for the current, and future expert and authors who are set to work on cross-border history education resources in Northeast Asia. In particular, working through key concepts like Multiperspectivity can be helpful when dealing with highly sensitive and controversial issues, while fostering with students a sense of critical thinking.
  • The project participants developed their professional competences and build their capacities to reflect, steer and work on cross-border history education resources. Thanks to the combination of expertise that the participants brought to the project, they enriched their knowledge and skills in subject specific pedagogy with new knowledge and skills in teaching sensitive issues in compulsory education and are better able to identify effective ways to increase the participation and performance of all their students in the learning process.
  • The participating organisations broadened their perspectives through learning about a number of initiatives being conducted in other countries or internationally. They became aware of the need for cooperation across borders and sharing of resources and experiences for the more efficient usage of public funding and investments and for the effective delivery of these resources to the widest possible and relevant target group

Project managers

Steven Stegers
Acting Executive Director, EUROCLIO - European Association of History Educators