The project “Different Nations – Shared Experiences” (DNSE) was called to life as 20th century history had a deeply dividing effect on Europe. The gap in the Baltic Sea region (BSR) is particularly marked – an area that was for centuries united by a common body of water, similar climate and shared historical developments was divided by the Iron Curtain.
This set the backdrop for the core problems tackled by the initiative – that citizens in the BSR lack awareness of their shared cultural legacy as well as the different path of the nations in recent history. These, in turn, undermines regional and European integration.
The project’s general objective – to shape a sense of unity and neighbourliness in the BSR – is a long-term goal that lapses beyond duration of the 3-year project. Therefore, three short-term goals were identified and achieved as follows.
Goal 1: To obtain an overview of youth’s awareness of and attitudes towards their neighbours
The Research & Strategy work package included research into 3 topics:
- Research Package 1: history consciousness and regional identity among youth;
- Research Package 2: inclusion of regional history in national curricula;
- Research Package 3: teachers’ preferences in teaching BSR history.
Based on the proprietary research and contributions from regional history education experts, the partners devised the “Bridging the Baltic History Education Strategy 2014-2020”.
Three international teams were formed to devise the data collection approach, interpret the data and write overviews. Research & strategy development were the longest-running activities, lapsing throughout the project.
Goal 2: To obtain a proven methodology of and materials for shaping a sense of unity and neighbourliness
Work packages related to developing educational resources resulted in methods and materials for use in formal and informal educational settings:
- Case studies on 20th century migration in the Baltic Sea Region
- 3 x educational films (a 30-minutes) on migration in the Baltic Sea Region
- Travelling exhibition on shared and separate cultural legacy
- “Bridging the Baltic” video stories website + e-campaign
- “Model International Criminal Court 2012” – moot court / youth exchange (Latvia)
- “Baltic Sea Region Film Week” 2012 (Latvia)
- “Baltic Bridges” – short film workshop for BSR film students (Estonia)
- The methods and materials are now available at the www.BridgingTheBaltic.org history education portal.
Goal 3: To initiate the process of curriculum change in project countries
The process was initiated by research activities as well as involving key stakeholders into the strategy development project.
Furthermore, the new history education platform & network will be leveraged to ensure that BSR themes have the top-of-mind of policymakers whenever history education curricula will be updated in the project countries.
The project had a profound impact on organisational capacity of project partners as it required significant improvements in processes and standards related to accounting, financial management and archiving.
THE CONTENT OF THE PUBLICATION REFLECTS AUTHOR’S VIEWS AND THE MANAGING AUTHORITY CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY THE PROJECT PARTNERS.