History Teaching

History teaching in South Eastern Europe

South Eastern Europe

The Council of Europe was assigned responsibility for educational issues under the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe in 1998 and has set up networks of educators in the region. It co-ordinates a working group on history and history teaching in the region and is conducting programmes on initial and in-service teacher training, while helping to prepare new history textbooks.

Moving away from stereotypes, looking critically at history and tackling certain controversial subjects such as the beginning of World War Two or the challenges of the 21st century are all topics that have been covered at seminars organised with input from various countries, including Greece and Turkey.

The aim was also to develop themes such as minorities in history and multiple perspectives, while providing teachers with a grounding in teaching controversial and sensitive subjects, in particular in troubled regions like Kosovo1, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Serbia, Montenegro.

Link to the lists of seminars held in South Eastern Europe and available reports


Current programme with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Council of Europe was and still is very heavily involved in co-operation with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The teaching of national histories in secondary schools in South Eastern Europe and history curricula development were the topics of seminars held in Sarajevo in 2002.

More recently, the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council of Europe and the Georg Eckert Institute organised a series of parallel seminars for textbook authors, pedagogical advisors and history teachers on the subject of History. This training was organised as a result of the adoption of the Guidelines for Writing and Evaluation of History Textbooks for Primary and Secondary Schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina by all Ministers of Education and in an effort to provide the basic methodology and skills of textbook writing, and by the adoption of new textbooks for history for the school year starting in september 2007.

During this process it was decided that the next parallel step would be to train the teacher trainers. These seminars would be organised with a hands on learning approach, the idea being that the trainers should then multiply and the information cascade to the practicing teachers. This activity is done with the support of the Canadian authorities.

Link to the lists of seminars held in Bosnia and Herzegovina and available reports

“All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.”