DVV International Ukraine together with All-Ukrainian Association “Nova Doba” have launched the second series of workshops for history teachers about the Soviet past and its representation in contemporary Ukrainian school history education.
With the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany History competitions for youngsters between 14 and 18 are going on in Ukraine under the title “Soviet past: Rethinking the History.”
Although this competition is aimed primarily at young people, mostly schoolchildren, it was important for the project team to contact history teachers as well. It is the teachers who will tutor teams of youngsters in the process of preparation of the competition entries.
The first workshop for tutors took place on October 29-30 at DVV International Ukraine.
The project, in general, aims to actualize Soviet Studies at school and raise schoolchildrens’ motivation to participate in the history competitions next year. It contributes to the improvement of school history education and provides an opportunity for teachers from across Ukraine to exchange experience and learn how to carry out local historical research.
The workshop for teachers included:
- presentation of the survey “Soviet past and its influence on the contemporary youth” that the project team has conducted in September-October;
- Reflection on discussions with school youth that the workshop participants have organized in their schools;
- Discussions about the polarizing memories of the Soviet period in the form of immersive theater;
- Presentation of the terms and conditions of the history competitions “Soviet Past: Rethinking the History.”
Fourteen teachers from all over Ukraine took part in the workshop. After the two-day of intensive work, the participants shared their impressions.
“The workshop enabled me to rethink some aspects of the Soviet past, which affect our today’s life. I gained some new approaches to teaching,” said Liudmyla Kravets, teacher of history, law, and civic education from Rivne. She also added that she’d been impressed most of all by the immersive theatre experience. “It was very unpredictable; I was impressed by the vibes, the breathtaking silence. I had to read the letter, take it “through me.” Reading the letter evoked thrill and flutter as if I was living the life that letter described myself.”
The immersive theatre focuses on the viewers’ experience by engaging them in performance. The viewers stop just observing and become actors of performance.
Other participants were also impressed by the immersive theatre method.
“All the students have different values, views, and they live according to them. Not all of them come to understand somebody else’s opinion. And when you sound somebody else’s opinion t them – it’s like you’re imposing it, and it causes resistance. But through immersive theater, students could understand different opinions better. It helps to be flexible, think differently, and accept others’ points of view. It shows that one can look at the situation from different points. Also, this approach helps understand the inner world of another person,” Olha Savchenko, a docent of the social and practical psychology department of Ivan Franko Zhytomyr State University, commented.
The series of workshops for teachers in the project “Soviet Past: Rethinking the History” address contemporary history research methods, digital and teaching methods, with a specific focus on research problems related to Soviet Studies.
“Soviet Past: Rethinking the History” is part of the international project ‘History Competitions in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine 3.0’ which is implemented by the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (DVV International) in cooperation with Körber-Stiftung, All-Ukrainian Association “Nova Doba,” with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.