History Teaching

"Learning and teaching about the history of Europe in the 20th century" – project results

Sources: museums, archives, oral history

A symposium "Towards a pluralist and tolerant approach to teaching history: a range of sources and new didactics" was organised jointly by the Council of Europe’s Council for Cultural Co-operation (CDCC) and the French Community of Belgium and lead to a publication of the same name.

The project "Learning and teaching about the history of Europe in the 20th century" promotes an awareness of history that is based partly upon seeking out and understanding the viewpoint of the other. This includes helping the young to develop the critical skills necessary to interpret information responsibly, such as the ability to detect hidden bias and stereotypes, and to compare information derived from a range of historical sources.

Against this background, the symposium examined source material for 20th century history, namely archives, museums, oral history and cinema and television, to find means to exploit the rich but often untapped reservoir they represent, as well as identify the pitfalls and dangers involved in their use.

These sources were discussed by experts in each field during the panel session and then by the participants, mostly history teachers, in the working groups. The latter contributed case studies, based upon experiences in their own countries, and thus provided the project with valuable examples of good and bad practice.

Besides the keynote speech and the general report, this work includes the panel contributions by the experts and a selection of the case studies. In the appendix, the reader will find Recommendation 1283 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on history and the learning of history in Europe, one of the statutory texts that has given priority to history education in the Council of Europe's activities.

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Link to ISBN publication
available in English and in French