voice for democracy

Keeping History Teaching on the Agenda: OHTE at World Congress of School History Teachers – Council of Europe

As we celebrated World Teachers Day on 5 October 2021, the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe presented its work, mission, and structure at the World Congress of School History Teachers*. A workshop dedicated to the Observatory also allowed history teachers to actively discuss the impact of this project on their professional lives and their students understanding of democracy.
The starting point of this event is the conviction that exchanging experiences is the first condition and the best guarantee for common progress
here the Chair of the OHTE Governing Board Mr Alain Lamassoure highlighted the central reason for bringing together experts from all over the world to the Congress, and also captured the vision of the Observatory: to foster tolerance and inspire reconciliation between nations through the exchange of different experiences, stories and perspectives.
This exchange of perspectives is at the core of the concept of multiperspectivity, which was discussed thoroughly during the workshop hosted by EuroClio. Multiperspectivity is the understanding that multiple narratives may exist for the same historical event or historical concept, and the acceptance that others may have a different perspective from your own. As Mr Steven Stegers, EuroClio Executive Director, explained history is perceived differently, and we could each give a different account of what happened here today.”
The Chair of the OHTE Scientific Advisory Council Ms Chara Makriyianni further explained the value of history teaching and how lessons from the past can inspire history students to be more empathetic
Historical thinking enables us to understand not only people in the distant past but contemporary people living next to or far away from us.
History Teaching has long been high on the agenda of the Council of Europe, as the OHTE Executive Director Ms Aurora Ailincai recounted “the topic of history teaching is a part of the DNA of the Council of Europe, the Observatory is coming as a natural development and as a result of decades of work, debate, and reflection on history teaching”.
The first Annual Conference of the Observatory taking place in Strasbourg on the 2-3 December 2021 will present another opportunity for professionals working in the field of history education to keep the topic of history teaching at the top of political agendas in European countries.

 See the session on OHTE
* The Congress was co-organised by the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the European Association of History Educators (EuroClio) and took place in Moscow from 4 to 6 October 2021. It brought together over 300 educators, experts, and policymakers in the field of history education to discuss a variety of challenges and subjects relating to the teaching of history in today’s world.
 See the History teaching website 
 The Observatory in the Media