Transforming Europe. World War I And Its Consequences 1918 – 2018
Starting in September 2015 and lasting until August 2018, five International IB World Schools are collaborating in the Erasmus Plus Project – “Transforming Europe” – which is sponsored by the European Union and coordinated by the Goetheschule Essen.
Ikast-Brande Gymnasium, Ikast, Denmark
This transnational project aims to enable young people between the ages of 14 and 18 to discover the interconnectedness of history, literature, science, philosophy, art and politics in the hundred-year span between the end of WWI in 1918 and the end of the project in 2018. The students will be investigating how our knowledge of the past may help future generations build a Europe which takes an active role in peace-making and peace-keeping.
November 11, 1918, saw the end of an unprecedented, man-made catastrophe that has become a key issue in the understanding of Europe’s past and present: the First World War. Although torn apart by mass crimes against humanity, genocides and yet another global war, modern Europe has found the means to pave the way for international respect, cooperation and peace during the decades that have followed. What started with the work of the League of Nations after World War I has today become the basis of multilateral agreements, multicultural acceptance and multifaceted opportunities for a peaceful Europe in the 21st century.
Against this background, the interdisciplinary project has been designed for secondary students from Germany, Denmark, Croatia, the Netherlands and Poland with the overall aim of enabling young people between 14 and 18 to discover the interconnectedness of history and modern politics and the timeless ethical and cultural lessons that can be learned from WWI literature, science and art. Other important objectives are the promotion of students‘ ICT and foreign language skills, their creativity and their international mindedness as European citizens.
Methodologically, students will collaborate within this project in a number of different ways, for example blog writing, debates, recitals, role plays and film-making. Activities will range from analytical tasks (which will focus for example on analysing historical sources and paintings, interpreting fiction or researching local micro-history) to creative mini projects (like historical conference simulations, creative writing, theatre performance, art work or the compilation of photo galleries and exhibitions). This broad variety of both formal and non-formal teaching and learning activities is meant to increase intrinsic motivation by giving students the chance to deepen their subject knowledge through international dialogue and the cross-border production of meaningful results such as wikis, blogs, eTwinning posts, podcasts, an ebook or a multimedia festival. The main project result will be a film portfolio which will document students‘ findings and activities and their joint transnational work on how the effects of WWI have shaped Europe.
The impact of the project will become most visible through the intensive international networking between partner schools and other institutions and the implementation of innovative learning and teaching methods. Long term benefits will include the development of new classroom resources about European peace-making and peace-keeping as well as exciting professional development events and workshops in the project countries. This way the project and its results will not only be of relevance during the 100-year anniversary of the WWI armistice in 2018, but may inspire generations of students and teachers in working together towards a peaceful Europe.