Updated: Mar 24
On March 8, Paradigma had the honor to present its History#5 gender history toolkit (co-produced with UNICEF) at the first session of the "European Innovation Days in History Education" conference in Brussels. The conference was organized within the framework of HISTOLAB. HISTOLAB is a joint project between the European Union and the Council of Europe focusing on the potential for evolution in history education with a mission to shine a light on innovative initiatives in research, academia, and teaching practices.
"We were excited to present at the first session to an audience of esteemed professionals. It was great to see a diversity of presenters and participants from organizations such as the Stanford History Education Group in the United States, the Georg Eckert Institute, and Körber-Stiftung in Germany, the International Society for History Didactics, Euroclio (European Association of History Educators) in the Netherlands, University of Murcia in Spain, Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, the Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights from the United States and Cu Alte Cuvinte from Romania to name a few," notes Hasmik (she/her), CEO at Paradigma.
The European Innovation Days in History Education is the annual main event organized by HISTOLAB which showcases innovative ideas on how to improve, or revolutionize, the teaching of history across Europe. The event brings together history teachers, academics, researchers, practitioners, junior professionals, and students all in the field of history education to engage with one another on ideas previously submitted through an open call, or by attending the side events organized by the HISTOLAB partner organizations. This first edition of the European Innovation Days in History Education provided stakeholders from different professional backgrounds with a place to find inspiration, material for innovation, and a community with whom to exchange on modern challenges in history education.
"The HISTOLAB team went above and beyond in organizing the conference. We were thrilled to meet and network with history innovators from different countries. We work to build new partnerships and implement new joint projects to advance innovation in history education. We had a chance to learn not only from organizations but from amazing teachers as well, such as Dr. Judith PERERA who leads history education at the British School in Colombo, Sri Lanka, " notes Talin (she/her), who leads educational projects at Paradigma.
HISTOLAB covers the 46 member states of the Council of Europe. The project complements the efforts of the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe. The Observatory establishes how history is currently being taught in its member states to provide factual information for the exchange of knowledge and good practices. HISTOLAB focuses on the potential for evolution in history education and shines a light on innovative initiatives in teaching practices, research, and academia.
"We received a lot of positive feedback and it was beyond encouraging, especially that our presentation of the gender history toolkit coincided with International Women's Day," notes Arpine (she/her) who followed her archival research on the project with a master's thesis work at the London School of Economics exploring the construction of gender and ‘new woman’ in early Soviet Armenia.
HISTOLAB facilitates the co-operation between different stakeholders in the field of history education with the aim of amplifying the values and recommendations of the Council of Europe with regard to history education and promote their implementation through teaching practices.
History#5 was developed in collaboration between Paradigma Educational Foundation and UNICEF. History#5 covers five topics of Armenian history from the 19th-20th century. These topics are women’s liberation policies and propaganda in the early Soviet era, pre-wedding, and post-wedding ritual behaviors in traditional and modern Armenian societies, Armenian women’s social and civic activism in the Ottoman and Russian empires and Persia, labor migration of Armenians from the Armenian Provinces of the Ottoman Empire, and public debates on the role of Armenian women in the Ottoman and Russian Empires. The resource pack contains 240 primary source cards and a teacher's guide with five exemplar lesson plans to foster active historical thinking with the use of gaming principles for learning.
History#5 became possible with extensive support from Houry Berberian (Professor of History, Director of the Center for Armenian Studies), Talinn Grigor (Associate Professor of Fine Arts, UC Davis), Melissa Bilal (Associate Director of Armenian music program and lecturer, UCLA), Lerna Ekmekcioglu (Associate Professor of History Director Women and Gender Studies Program, MIT), Gayane Shagoyan (Senior Researcher at the Insitute of Archaeology and Ethnography), Anna Aleksanyan (Ph.D. candidate at the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University), Smbat Hovhannisyan (Adjunct Lecturer, American University of Armenia).