Friday, 15 August 2008

NECE Conference in Sofia

The enlargement of the European Union in 2004 and the transformations in Eastern Europe are additionally pushing the acceleration and the diffusion of nationalist and populist discourses. These issues pose a great challenge to citizenship education, as to describe the new balance of power and the effects on political participation and democracy as well as to present models of communication and debate within schools and adult education.

The 4th European conference of the NECE-Network (Networking European Citizenship Education; is addressing these new and complicated issues. The conference is titled “Citizenship education facing nationalism and populism: Strategies - Competences - Practices” and takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria, from November 6-8, 2008.

The conference will invite practitioners and experts from all over Europe to exchange interpretations and experiences of nationalism and populism in their respective countries. Nationalist and populist currents are a pan-European problem and therefore have to be discussed in a new and multilateral fashion.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Call for Experts (SIG 2): Learning about the socialist past

Symposium/Citizens- University for non formal education professionals on historical-political education and remembrance culture in Europe. Berlin, 29.05.2009 - 30.05.2009.

This symposium aims at taking stock and discussing the contribution of learning methods of civic education focussing the CEE-socialist past on the European level.The disasters, wars and dictatorships of the 20th Century are within Europe mostly remembered and interpreted differently. This applies in particular to the period of National Socialism, but also for the experience of suppression under Soviet-style communism.

National differences in perceptions and expectations for the teaching/learning of history (and thus the interpretation of national authority) show how important remembrance respective memory becomes as elementary component of the discourse to the European identity.

Dealing with the crimes and domination mechanisms of National Socialism is over the past years becoming a more trans-national discussion.
Differences in national perspectives are presented, discussed and partly brought closer together.

This applies to socialism only limited: although not comparable with the experience of Nazism Socialism also was a long-term European experience with continuity lines into the present.

In many Central European societies there is still a lack of occupation with the communist past: It is often only rudimentary developed and it is often being reduced on a few issues.
The question how we use this experience with the communist era for Civic Education is therefore at the heart of the event.

The symposium will therefore help:

  • to take stock with European partners how history education/historical political education and its educational concepts work,
  • to take a look at the ways of historical and political-educational occupation with various dictatorships of the 20th Century,
  • to present forms of civic youth and adult education that are capable of contributing to public education about the history of communism in Europe.

Actors of civic youth and adult education have different concepts and approaches in dealing with the experience of communism/socialism. These include: Talks with (eye-) witnesses and other forms of biographical communication and exchanges; working with historical learning- and memory locations; etc.

During the symposium, there are going to be three panels on the following themes:

  • biographical learning,
  • learning and (international) youth meetings,
  • learning and historical places/sites

These three panels will serve firstly to take stock, secondly offer possible localisations for paedagogical practice, thirdly introduce best-practice examples from different European countries and finally discuss possible ways of contribution from historical learning to civic education.

Participation on the symposium is open for NGO-practitioners, researchers and interested public of all age groups (they can be involved in practical exercises) it is translated English-German-English simultaneously.

We are currently looking for Experts from NGOs active in EDC/HRE who have practical experience in one of the three panels´ issues. We would like to invite them to present their work (methods, paedagogical approach and experiences with the theme) in one of the related areas. They can be either staff from your own organisation or from other organisations active in the field of historical education for EDC/HRE in your country. Therefore papers with a short abstract (750 words) should be handed in until 30 November 2008.

Participation, Travel and board free for DARE members/DARE affiliated staff/experts.

Organizer: AdB, Bildungswerk der Humanistischen Union, DARE-Democracy and Human Rights Education in

Besides the exchange of methods and knowledge the whole Symposium is being documented and all the contributions will be published.

For further Information please contact:

Georg Pirker, Head of international Department
Arbeitskreis deutscher Bildungsstätten (AdB) / DARE Project Coordinator
Mühlendamm 3, 10178 Berlin
tel: 030400401-17