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International Organisation Resource

Quality history education in the 21st century - Principles and guidelines

Council of Europe   •   Council of Europe   •   2018

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Levels and forms of education

Primary Education

Lower Secondary Education

Upper Secondary Education

Teacher Training

Other Levels and Forms of Education

Resource type

Conceptual or themathic publications

Historic approaches concerned

Cultural History

Gender History

Political History

Social History

Transnational History

Other Approaches

Historic period

No data

Countries or areas concerned

Without regional focus




The overall aim of these Principles and guidelines, therefore, is to enhance the expertise and capability needed if history education is to play that role successfully. They build on the Council of Europe’s vision of history teaching as reflected in a number of key documents of the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly. The main input has come from four regional seminars held during the period 2016-2017 in the framework of the intergovernmental project Educating for diversity and democracy: teaching history in contemporary Europe. These Principles and guidelines are addressed primarily to those politicians, officials and others in each member state who are responsible for the development of the school history curriculum; but they are also for those teachers and teacher trainers whose role it is to deliver the curriculum to students. Ideally, however, it is hoped that all who have an interest in the nature, quality and impact of the history taught in schools – including students, their parents and the wider public – will find these Principles and guidelines useful. Although the principles and guidelines are specific to the teaching and learning of history, they should be viewed in the context of the wider educational aims and commitment expressed by the Council of Europe, the European Commission and UNESCO.



democratic culture

intercultural dialogue




critical understanding





controversial issues



information and communication technologies