Person-Centred History vs Collective Memory. Educational workshop for Korostyshiv teachers
The topic of historical memory within the Ukrainian Action: Healing the Past programme saw its continuation at the educational workshop in Korostyshiv town, Zhytomyr oblast, conducted by Natalia Holosova, member of the Nova Doba All-Ukrainian Association of Teachers of History and Social Studies.
The place for the workshop named ‘Historical memory as part of multicultural education’ was chosen on purpose. The history of the Ivan Franko Korostyshiv Pedagogical College dates back to 1862. Over a period of 140 years, about twenty thousand teachers of the central region of Ukraine have been trained at this college. It is not surprising that workshop participants were former graduates and current lecturers of this college as well as regional history teachers. The workshop combined new teaching methods and incredibly moving stories told by participants. The range of historical memories mentioned included the Russian-Japanese War, the post-war life in Tashkent, the post-war period in the Western Ukraine, and even evacuation of cattle rearward at the beginning of the Nazi occupation. Emotions overwhelmed both, those who shared their stories and those who listened to them.
According to the teachers, their experience of listening to personal stories and reflecting on them proves that the world is actually much more complex and diverse than the official history science suggests. One becomes aware that next to the "big history" (political one) there is a history of everyday life. The person-oriented history has much more powerful educational effect than the history based on the sheer collective memory.
A variety of techniques and exercises highlighted the difference between collective and individual memory and participants felt they could use these techniques as tools for dealing with the past.
Olha Shevchuk made photo and video documentation of the event. She had a chance to interview workshop participants and hear their thoughts and feedbacks.
Hosting the educational workshop was possible due to the initiative of Oksana Samoylenko, an employee of the Humanities Department at the pedagogical college.
the Nova Doba All-Ukrainian Association of Teachers of History and Social Studies
Translation by Halyna Stasevych
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The workshop was held within the ‘Future needs memories: Ukrainian dialogue on history and memories’ project implemented by Foundations of Freedom INGO / The Ukraine Action: Healing the Past programme, OWEN e.V. Mobile Academy for Gender Democracy and Peacebuilding, and the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (Germany).
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