Exploring the Cold War – Bringing the Iron Curtain Down Erasmus Project

General information for the Exploring the Cold War – Bringing the Iron Curtain Down Erasmus Project

Exploring the Cold War – Bringing the Iron Curtain Down Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Exploring the Cold War – Bringing the Iron Curtain Down

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for Schools Only

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: EU Citizenship, EU awareness and Democracy; Home and justice affairs (human rights & rule of law); Pedagogy and didactics

Project Summary

We have tried to prepare pupils for an ever-changing multi-cultural world, with complex problems that can only be solved by working together. We have examined the Cold War and its impact on partner countries and have produced a website (http://cold-war-cojobo.appspot.com/) to be used by schools around the world. We have contributed to our students becoming global citizens, fostering their curiosity about global events and helping them to make connections between the school curriculum and the wider world.

We have tried to make pupils independent learners and to research and select appropriate material to design the website and the learning materials. We have used ICT, worked in international groups, and reflected together on our different experiences and perspectives of our recent past. We have investigated history through stories, interviewing direct witnesses from the Cold War era and learning about how much their daily lives were affected by the Cold War. We have produced unbiased teaching resources, overcoming the problem of viewing history from a national perspective by examining the same issues from the point of view of the four partners. In our weekly project meetings at individual schools, we have tried to enable our students to compare the Cold War era with our present time, looking for similarities and differences so as not to repeat mistakes from the past.

Each school invited several pupils aged 15 -17. Most took part across both years with between 15-20 pupils from each school in each year involved in the project in total. For some periods the number of pupils involved has risen considerably (e.g. in the final meeting in Bonn, when 11 classes with 25-30 pupils each tried out the new material and gave feedback). In Wales some resources have been used with an International Baccalaureate group learning about the Cold war and feedback was positive. Each school will now train their History departments to use the materials in their teaching to ensure many pupils can benefit from the project result.

We have used a combination of secondary book and web-based research to establish the main facts of the Cold War, and primary research via interviews with citizens who lived through this period to establish the social impact upon households in each country. International groups of students were responsible for the curation and edition of contents which have been uploaded to the website: an international timeline and four national ones; historical data on six political and nine social topics, as well as links to external sites for further reading; videos of interviews with witnesses of history, as well as artefacts (objects); a wide variety of self-designed games to apply acquired knowledge and a teaching guide to take full advantage of our website.

Students have developed IT skills especially in web design, communications and uploading files. The language skills have been enhanced via translation of learning materials. Research skills that will be useful for continuing higher education as well as detailed historical knowledge of the era have been enhanced. By checking the reliability and validity and lack of bias, we have developed critical and evaluative learners who can perform better in all academic subjects and the workplace in the future.

We feel that the extended working time during transnational meetings has had very positive effects, not only on the project work itself, but also on mutual understanding and hence on cultural effects on pupils, families, teachers and the whole school community. This applies to all transnational meetings, which have all had positive effects on the progress of the project. The final transnational meeting was linked with the presentation of the website at Collegium Josephinum and at the museum House of History (Haus der Geschichte). We increased the audience and hence dissemination of our project by inviting external people to our presentations, such as pupils from different schools or the German national agency.

The website (http://cold-war-cojobo.appspot.com/) is online and hence available to be used by schools around the world. This teaching material has been elaborated by pupils for pupils, thus relevant to a modern student who expects such content, and it can be teacher-led or used by independent learners. Participants have improved language skills and become more confident communicators in other European languages. They have become more motivated and confident individuals as a result of preparing and selecting resources for use by others, and they can demonstrate enhanced workplace and employability skills in several regards.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 86625 Eur

Project Coordinator

Colegio Gamo Diana & Country: ES

Project Partners

  • Spojena katolicka skola, Farska 19, 949 01 Nitra
  • Rydal Penrhos School
  • Collegium Josephinum Bonn