The Nerve Centre’s innovative ‘Teaching Divided Histories’ project travelled to Beirut in Lebanon last week as teachers from throughout the war-torn country benefitted from extensive digital training.
In conjunction with the British Council, the two-day training course brought together representatives and teachers from 20 schools keen to learn from the project and enhance their creative digital skills in the classroom.
The aim of ‘Teaching Divided Histories’ is to introduce new approaches to the study of conflict into the school curriculum across Ireland and internationally, primarily showing how teachers can use moving images and creative technologies to engage pupils in the study of conflict.
The project is led by Derry’s Nerve Centre, in partnership with the British Council NI and the Curriculum Development Unit of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDU/CDETB), and is supported by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.
Over the course of two days, Nerve Centre professionals delivered training across a range of programmes as teachers learned how to make their own comics, edit movies, record and edit audio and manipulate images.
The TDH team also demonstrated how the initiative was having a beneficial impact across Northern Ireland and how the skills learned could be implemented to help students and young people address their own issues and ideas of conflict anywhere in the world.
Project Manager Emma McDermott said: “Having the chance to be in Lebanon and work with a large range of schools shows just how beneficial ‘Teaching Divided Histories’ can be for any conflict-affected society. The aim of the project is to put tools in the hands of teachers and pupils so they can begin to tell their own stories and look at diverse viewpoints in a new light.
“Ultimately, the project should help to break down barriers of teaching contentious issues in conflict-based societies and allow a new form of exploration in the classroom.
“It is our hope that the TDH project can have a lasting and beneficial impact in conflict-affected societies around the world.”
Teachers taking part in the two-day training hailed their experience and will now work in their individual schools to create new pieces of work and share their new found knowledge with fellow teachers.
“I enjoyed seeing how teaching history and English through technology might be interesting and more student productive,” said teacher Marina Mansour Debuire.