Geschlossene Veranstaltung

A transnational approach to history teaching: The German-Polish textbook project ‚Europe – Our History‘

Workshop for participants of the winter school „Different Wars“ – teachers from Germany, Poland, Belarus and Russia; 17/11/2020, 2 pm to 4:30 pm


EU-Russia Civil Society Forum in Kooperation mit Partnern in Polen

The joint Polish-German textbook series “Europa – Unsere Geschichte/ Europa. Nasza historia (‘Europe – Our History’)” makes it its central concern to look at European history from a new perspective. Traditional conceptions of Europe, but also didactic approaches and prevailing schoolbook traditions are questioned: Can there be a common or even a European narrative in the neighbouring countries Germany and Poland – and what could it look like? How can students be made aware of different perspectives and divergent experiences – and how can they be enabled to engage in dialogue? What is the benefit of looking at European history through the eyes of the neighbour? And what didactical-methodological concept was used as basis for a textbook that aims to offer more than a nationally framed approach to history?

Christiane Brandau (Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research) will share insights into the textbook project and present selected materials from Volume 4 dealing with everyday life in occupied Europe during World War II. Participants are invited to discuss these materials drawing on their teaching experience as well as findings of the winter school. Special focus will be placed on the question of chances and potentials of the transnational approach in the context of enhancing multiperspectivity.

The curriculum-based, competency-focused textbook series “Europe – Our History” is intended for use in Polish and German classrooms. The series offers identical materials in two language versions and was jointly developed by publishing houses, scholars and educators from both countries, drawing on the dialogue of several decades between Polish and German historians in the German-Polish Textbook commission. The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research – Member of the Leibniz Association in Braunschweig and the Centrum Badań Historycznych Polskiej Akademii Nauk in Berlin acted as academic coordinators of the work and are now engaged in supporting the implementation of the series in schools of both countries.