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Project “The image of the other in history teaching” Seminar “Teaching and learning the diversity of histories and the history of diversity” (Strasbourg, 18-19 June 2007) Summary of discussions

Council of Europe   •   2007

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I. Purpose of this document This document provides a summary of the discussions held during the seminar. Clearly it cannot reflect all the information and comments from all speakers and participants. The main written contributions are included in a separate document. 40 experts attended the meeting. The list of participants is to be found in Appendix I; the agenda is reproduced in Appendix II. II. Background to the seminar The Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Education has decided to run, from 2006 to 2009, a project entitled “The image of the other in history teaching”. This project is part of the work undertaken by the Council throughout the whole organisation on strengthening and expanding intercultural dialogue, which is the focus of a White Paper currently being drafted. This White Paper will take account of all the activities on this theme implemented by the various Directorates General and bodies of the Council of Europe. These activities were launched on the initiative of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe member states (Warsaw, May 2005) and in the wake of the Declaration on the Council of Europe’s strategy for developing cultural dialogue adopted at the closing conference of the 50th anniversary of the European Cultural Convention in Faro in October 2005. The project also follows on from the activities on history teaching which the Education Committee has been pursuing for many years, and Committee of Ministers Recommendation (2001) 15 to member states on history teaching in 21st century Europe. The project has three aims: - to draw up proposals for general guidelines on history teaching policies in the context of intercultural dialogue; - to put forward proposals for strategies, methods and instruments enabling these general guidelines to be translated into practice; - to make proposals for the training not only of history teachers but also of other parties involved in history learning. To tackle the range of issues relating to history learning in contexts that are becoming increasingly more diversified in cultural, social and religious terms, three main avenues of work have been identified: - multiple images, shared destinies, learning about history in a multicultural society; - images of others and ourselves in the context of globalisation; - the image of the other in conflict situations: learning different histories as a means of rebuilding trust. Three European conferences will be held in 2007, 2008 and 2009 in order to take stock of the work and studies on each of these three themes. The first theme will be addressed at the symposium to be held on 29 and 30 October 2007 on “Learning history to understand and experience cultural diversity today”. Two seminars have been held in preparation for this symposium; the first, “Contact and interaction: the image of the Muslim world in history learning in Europe” was held in Strasbourg on 9 and 10 October 2006. The report on the seminar was published in document DGIV/EDU/HISTDIM (2007)01. This present seminar was the second stage in the preparations for the symposium. The discussions at the seminar were organised so as to focus on the following themes: - the different aspects of cultural diversity and the image of the other in Europe, and their impact on history teaching; - cultural diversity and learning of history in practice; - the Council of Europe’s approach to cultural diversity, the European dimension and the learning of history; - problems and difficulties in introducing cultural diversity in history teaching.


Cultural Diversity


Council of Europe


Intergovernmental Programme

Image of the Other