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The EHISTO-project (2012-2014)

The EU project EHISTO (European history crossroads as pathways to intercultural and media education) was funded by the EU-Lifelong Learning programme and lasted from 2012 to 2014.

The project responded to the increasing significance of a commercialised mediation of history within the public historical culture and reflected the fact that these representations, which do not always meet the EU standards for history education, can have a lasting impact on the young generation’s understanding of history.

Using the example of popular history magazines, the project, besides the necessary basic research, developed didactically reflected materials for both history education in school as well as initial teacher training. On the one hand the materials allow a media-critical examination of history magazines. On the other hand, by working with these history magazines, the project addressed popular interpretations of history in the participating countries and reflected their similarities and differences in European cultures of remembrance. Therefore, this approach not only trains media-critical competences but furthermore facilitates a multi-perspective and comparative access to history.

The EHISTO project was realised by an European interdisciplinary consortium, led by the University of Augsburg in Germany and composed of partners from Spain (Universidad de Salamanca), Poland (Academy of Management Lodz), Sweden (Dalarna University), Great Britain (University of East Anglia) and Munich, Germany (FWU- Institute for Film and Pictures in Science and Education). In every participating country there was at least one secondary school in which all the Learning Objects developed during the project were piloted, evaluated and finalized. In close cooperation, the partners and schools worked together to create customized and innovative learning objects.

Altogether, EHISTO had four main work phases, that were structured in a coherent process:

1. Phase:

During the first step of the project, a baseline study was entirely completed. The baseline study was to provide the foundation of the desired LOs (digital learning objects). The goal of this work was 1) to find out history teachers' opinions and practices regarding the use of popular history magazines, 2) to develop a tool that can be used by teachers and students in order to analyse popular history magazines and 3) to conduct research on the so-called 'European History Crossroads' (EHC) in order to find out which two examples of history crossroads the LOs should focus on.

2. Phase:

The second project phase was the central phase of the project work in which the online materials were developed for history education in secondary schools (LOs with teacher manual) and for teacher training (module with module guide) at universities. Accompanying the conceptualisation of the online material, introductory teacher workshops were held in all partner countries in order to be able to test the online material in the following phase.

3. Phase:

In the third project phase the online material was evaluated. In the process, a feedback-mechanism was used in close cooperation with the participating schools and universities.

4. Phase:

The concluding fourth project phase dealt with the dissemination and valorisation of the project results. Amongst others, the final publication was written for this purpose. It was supposed to introduce the project, its aims and its results to a broader public and more stakeholders than before.