During the two-day conference, organised by the CDRSEE in partnership with HIPMONT- the Association of Montenegrin history teachers-participants from across the region separated into groups and discussed 10 draft chapters of the new workbooks. Topics included amongst others “The Disintegration of Yugoslavia, Economy, Culture, Times of Crisis and Migration”. Each group offered suggestions and presented how they would teach their topic using the source material offered by the new JHP volumes and a fruitful exchange of opinions followed. The first session focused on the Teaching of the Cold War, and the second on the Transition in Southeast Europe. Finally the participants were the first to see and review the final drafts of the new JHP volumes, which cover the sensitive recent history, from 1944 to 2008.
Zvezdana Kovač, the Executive Director of the CDRSEE, explained in her welcome speech, that the JHP stays committed to empowering the critical-thinking capabilities of students, as opposed to offering them pre-made conclusions on the history. The two new volumes are important for peace building and unique in that so far, no compilation of source material has been published that offers a regional perspective on the sensitive time period at stake.
The conference was attended by representatives of the ministries of education of 6 countries of the region. The CDRSEE is grateful to all of those present for their constructive participation, support and contribution. The long term partnerships established within the Joint History Project, have already helped to turn history teaching into a means for raising empathy and facilitating the reconciliation process in the region.