History Teaching

Shared Histories for a Europe without dividing Lines

The launching conference of the new Project "Shared Histories for a Europe without dividing Lines" took place in Oslo on 16 and 17 June 2010. The conference was organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the European Wergeland Centre and the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Education.

Context

Interactions and convergences, as much as tensions and conflicts, have left their imprint on the history of Europe’s living space. Despite the great diversity of cultures and identities, its inhabitants after the second world conflict embarked on the process of European co-operation and construction. This was because throughout the course of history the European realm has undergone developments and transformations common to every region and people, the upshot of which has been a freely expressed resolve to build a united future. Our history has made Europe a continent distinctive in the unique combination of our common features and the peculiarities that are the hallmark of each of our countries, continental subsets and also social groups.
 
The previous project implemented by the Steering Committee for Education on "The image of the Other in History Teaching" highlighted the implications for politics, the objectives and methodology for teaching history of cultural diversity of European societies, globalisation and the need for accompanying, if necessary, the confidence-building process in post-conflict situations.

On the basis of these assets, the new project addresses three main concerns.

It is initially a question of highlighting the common historical heritage of the member States. In its recitals and more specifically in article 1, the European Cultural Convention of 1954 enables the signatory states to promote shared knowledge of their national history and also to be committed to promoting raised awareness of their common historical heritage.

It is therefore advisable to contribute, through better knowledge of historical interactions and convergences of all kinds, to conflict prevention and support for reconciliation processes;

Finally, it is necessary to continue the dissemination and implementation of the recommendations of the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue – “Living Together As Equals in Dignity” adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers in May 2008.

Objectives

  • to reveal the chief interactions and convergences which have characterised the development of Europe as a spatial entity and created the conditions for European construction;
  • to produce definite proposals for strategies and methods towards awareness and knowledge of these dimensions of European history and better publicity in the context of history courses;
  • to define the content but also the skills – of history teachers especially – essential to a sound understanding common trends in European history within a global context.

Anticipated results:

 At the end of the project the following materials should be available:

  • teaching materials relating to significant historical examples of interactions and convergences within Europe as a spatial entity;
  • recommendations as to the strategies, methods and teaching techniques which would be conducive to fuller awareness, comprehension and knowledge of these interactions and convergences in European history.

   

To know more about the project “Shared Histories for a Europe without dividing Lines”

 

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