On Friday, October 14, our team, in collaboration with Haigazian University, concluded week-long workshops on active historical thinking for 20 teachers of Armenian history from Lebanese-Armenian schools.
Imagine working as a teacher in an environment of deliberate depression: your salary hardly covers gas for the car to take you to school and back, and two of your three students' families borrow money to buy food or purchase it on credit.
For five days, our colleagues woke up to the beauty of historical heritage that persevered through the civil war. Working on the campus with your high-speed internet powering your laptop, you think about the degree of creative and strategic decision-making to provide the university with basic amenities in a city where electricity alone is in severe shortage.
Two of the campus buildings are on the list of heritage buildings by the Lebanese Ministry of Culture.
The university itself started from the residence of prominent American Missionary Elizabeth Webb.
The Armenian Diaspora Research Center at Haigazian University organized the workshops and hosted our team members on their historic campus. We started with two days of theoretical and practical sessions on active historical thinking concepts. After two days of theoretical and practical sessions, the teachers held classes to test some of the new teaching strategies they discussed during the workshops. On the last day, we organized deep reflection sessions discussing challenges and possibilities to develop active historical thinking in schools. We concluded the workshops by presenting History#5 boxes to all the participants. After the closure of the workshops, we examined plans with our colleagues from the university.
Imagine hosting a teaching reflection session with your teacher. That is what exactly happened to our colleague Taline who met two of her teachers long after relocating from Lebanon to Armenia to continue her studies in middle school.
We did enjoy traveling to Lebanon! We visited its places and met people infused with history, pain, hope, and resourcefulness for a better future.