Southeast European Joint History Project – teacher training workshops

Core features of the practice

  • Organisation:

    Institution name: Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe
    Institution type: Non-profit, non-governmental organisation
    Institution URL:
  • Format:

    Workshop, Instructional material
  • Target population:

    Educators in formal settings, Educators in non-formal settings, Civil society and non-profit leaders
  • Cost (per practice):

  • Setting:

    Your institution, Other institution, No specific setting required
  • Themes:

    Remembrance education and/or history education, Citizenship/democracy education, Teaching and learning methods/guidelines
  • Core activities:

    Group work, Group discussion, Textual analysis

Additional information about the practice

    Target population

  • Number of participants:

    Up to 34
  • Age of target population:

    26+ years
  • Additional specifics:

    National/local specifities (e.g. activity targeted to Swedish school students)
  • Components of the practice

  • Topics and objectives:

    The CDRSEE produced 6 history books (from the Ottoman Empire to 2008)-of primary sources, arranged in a thematic manner, for teachers to use in class.The aim of the workshops is to familiarise teachers with critical thinking, multi-perspective methods to use these books, to build empathy, understanding and reconciliation as well as critical thinking in students.Topics are a variety of thematic aspects of history. Trainers select themes, based on the workbooks, all of which encourage the development of tolerance and critical thinking, using the sources to understand the present and contribute to a democratic society. Examples of these themes (sections in the books) include: ‘Migration', 'Human solidarity and kindness in conflict', 'Social classes and integration', 'Religion', 'Propaganda', 'Youth Culture' 'Destroying cultural heritage', 'The war against journalists' 'Reconciliation through restoring or destroying memories'. The sources include texts, maps, graphs, newspaper articles, images etc.
  • Materials used:

    Written or other published material, Material culture, i.e., physical object or setting, Audiovisual material
    Link to the material:
  • Material produced:

    Written material, Instructional material, Online material
  • Sequence of activities - methodology:

    In a participative, interactive and culturally relevant manner, the trainers (1 international, 1 local) work with teachers to introduce them to the use of the JHP workbooks with their students. In each workshop, the trainers: introduce participants to the new methodology and concepts, guide them in the use of the workbooks, demonstrate a model lesson based on one of the themes, support participants in working in groups to create their own model lessons based on different themes in the books. The model lessons are then tested, (with other participants as the ‘students’) with feedback, evaluation and input from the trainers and the other participants. The whole workshop is then evaluated by the participants, which will serve as the basis for improving the next workshops.
  • Length of activity:

    8 to 15 hours
  • Is the activity digital?:

  • Accessibility and replicability

  • Language(s) in which activity can be delivered:

    Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovenian, Turkish
  • Is specialist knowledge or professional training required?:

  • If yes, which type?:

    Formal educational training and/or certification

Qualitative Details

  • Has this practice been evaluated?

  • How many times?:

  • By whom?:

    Participants, Internal evaluator, Formal external evaluator
  • By what means?:

    Formal verbal feedback, Qualitative written feedback, Quantitative survey
  • Core content knowledge and transferable skills:

    Ability to look at history thematically, rather than chronologically and to draw concepts together across countries and time and link them to issues relevant to students today. Enhanced confidence and experience for teachers in delivering multi-perspective, critical thinking, participative lessons on history. Enhanced skills of teachers to be able to utilise history education for developing critical thinking, empathy, citizenship skills, tolerance, awareness of diversity, dialogue and debate skills among their students. Raised skills of teachers to work confidently with students with un-edited primary sources and link them to contemporary issues. Skills in supporting students in independent research and creative group work, based on original history texts. Enhanced confidence in teaching in a student centred (as opposed to ‘lecture’ style) manner.
  • Indicators of success:

    Flexibility, adaptability and replicability are the key characteristics that make these workshops ‘good practice’. The workshops use the same methodology, but can be adapted for use anywhere in the region, as they use local trainers with an understanding of the specific education system and political / historical / social context, together with an international trainer who has a global overview and a context-neutral approach. The skills developed are new to the region and to the target population (history is generally taught in a ‘banking / lecturing’ and ‘rote-learning’ manner in the region, as a single-narrative set of facts and without much linking of the themes of the past, with the issues of tolerance, diversity, propaganda, media literacy etc. in the present or thought about the development of skills in the students, rather than just factual content). They offer new pedagogical innovation to the region and is also unique in that the workshops develop and improve each time, based on the input of the participants from the previous ones. Therefore, they don’t just deliver a skill to the participants; the participants contribute to the improvement of the workshops.
  • Educational coordinator contact details:

    Name: Ruth Sutton
    Email address:


The RETHINK project is concerned with bridging formal and informal education. This section explores the factors that make a practice adaptable.

  • Key factors for successful implementation:

    Subject expertise of presenter/instructor
  • Main challenges to teachers adapting this practice for their students:

    Lack of flexibility in the curriculum for teachers to include non-prescriptive materials. Fears from teachers of repercussions or complaints from students, colleagues, education authorities or parents (in introducing sensitive topics from the angle of ‘the other’), or from teachers’ associations of political groups. Lack of confidence of teachers in using new methodologies (most teachers in the region have been trained to ‘deliver information’ as the only teaching method). Fear of ‘losing control’ of the class if topics are opened for discussion or group work is being done without immediate supervision by the teacher. Lack of time to plan new classes using new materials and methods.
  • Availability of guidance/training/replication materials (and in what language/format currently):

    The first 4 JHP workbooks are available in 11 languages for free download in their entirety from the CDRSEE website. The second 2 JHP workbooks are available in English, Serbian and Albanian for free download from the CDRSEE website. All of these are also available in hard copy and are given to any interested teacher, educator or policy maker for free. The Teachers’ Guide is available online in English and hard copy only (for free) in 5 languages. All participants are given hard copies of the materials for free.
  • Other comments or details:

    The Joint History Project Workshops train not only teachers, but also trainers (who then train other teachers) and provide networking opportunities, ongoing support to educators. The materials are aimed to be used in classes and the teachers are encouraged to feed back their experiences, which allow us to develop and improve the project in a collaborative, multi-national manner. All workshops are carried out in partnership with a local NGO / teachers' association with strong local ownership, local capacity building and civil-society building elements.