Joint History Project books for free download – response to conflict resolution through education


I have been ingaged in the studies and research of south-east Europe for past few years through academic master program and professional activities. This is why the following project catch my attention. “Joint History Project book” is truly worth sharing project.

Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe has published 4 Workbooks are now available for free download, have been made through the Joint History Project. The books have been produced in the Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, English (with the 2nd edition published in the summer of 2009), Greek, Macedonian, Serbian and Turkish languages. In addition, an edition of the books in Japanese is underway.

“The goal of the Joint History Project (JHP) is to encourage debate, celebrate diversity and recognise shared suffering and achievements through a participative approach to history teaching, in order for students and teachers to develop the understanding and skills needed for sustainable peace and a democratic future. The JHP aims in the long-term to revise ethnocentric school history teaching by avoiding the production of stereotypes, by identifying attitudes that encourage conflict, by suggesting alternative teaching methods and by promoting the idea of multiple interpretations of one event. The objectives of the JHP are achieved through the production of a set of alternative history-teaching education materials (workbooks) – designed and written by experts from all over the region – along with teacher training, outreach and media work.”

For the download and more info: http://cdsee.org/jhp/download_eng.html

First workbook is called “The Ottoman Empire”, the second one: “Nations and States in Southeast Europe”, third workbook: “The Balkan Wars”, and the last one: “The Second World War”.

According to the web-site the JHP is a long-term participative project that brings together historians, teachers, pedagogues, CSOs and students to work together towards the emergence of democratic and peaceful societies in the region, through multi-perspective history education.

“…and you, parents, give your children an education, teach them to read and write.  Do what you have to do to set up a school and find a teacher.  It would be better to leave them poor and educated, rather than rich and illiterate.” Kosmas the Aitolian (1714-1779) as quoted in Workbook 1 – The Ottoman Empire.

The aim of this project is to revise ethnocentric school history teaching by avoiding the production of stereotypes, by identifying attitudes that encourage conflict, by suggesting alternative teaching methods, and by promoting the idea of multiple interpretations of one event. History that instils values of academic rigour and critical analysis would serve as a solid basis for democracy, reconciliation and tolerance in Southeast Europe.

…the parties will base their relations on confidence, cooperation and mutual respect. ….they shall settle any dispute arising between them exclusively by peaceful means.” Romania-Hungarian ‘Good Neighbours’ Treaty of 1996 (Nations and States JHP Book)

The JHP is divided into two sections, one overseen by the Academic Committee, first chaired by Professor Maria Todorova and currently chaired by Professor Fikret Adanir, and the other overseen by the History Education Committee, chaired by Professor Christina Koulouri, with Professor Halil Berktay and Dr. Dubravka Stojanovic as Vice-Chairs.

I haven’t read any of those workbooks yet, but can not wait to start. Your opinions would be highly appreciated. Interested in south-east Europe and European studies in general? Then this works are for you.

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