Fifteen guests from south-eastern Europe – ministry representatives, history teachers and textbook authors – visited the GEI at the beginning of December for a week-long workshop in which they explored the potential for improvement in Albanian-language textbooks in the Balkan states. This meeting of experts is part of a project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and run by the GEI, examining Albanian-language textbooks in a number of south-eastern European countries.
As part of the workshop experts from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia examined differing concepts for history books; investigating the approaches taken by the books when describing the Balkan region in 1912/1913 and discussing educational aspects of books from Kosovo and Albania.
The workshop also compared textbook production in Germany and in south-eastern European countries. The theme year “1913” running at that time in the city of Braunschweig served as a point of reference and comparison, as 1913 was also a significant year in south-eastern European countries: the Balkan wars ended and there was a short period of peace before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Therefore, the seminar had also one teaching unit on the Balkan wars with new material from Euroclio which will be published in 2014. The intensive week of discussions and workshops was complemented by visits to the exhibition ‘Herrlich moderne Zeiten‘ (Magnificent modern times) in the Landesmuseum, and to the exhibition of textbooks from 1913 in the municipal library as well as a guided tour of the city examining life for women in 1913.
The participants also had the opportunity to conduct their own research in the Georg Eckert Institute library.