Education Minister addresses history teachers from across Europe at Belfast conference

Date published: 21 March 2016

Education Minister John O’Dowd has addressed history teachers from across Europe at the EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Belfast.

Organisers EUROCLIO, the European Association of History Educators, will host 180 historians, history teachers, museum educators, researchers, policy makers and civil society activists from 30 countries. The conference is titled ‘Reimagining Remembrance: Dealing with the Legacies of a Violent Past in History and Heritage Education’.

Welcoming local and international delegates, Minister O’Dowd said:

“I am delighted that EUROCLIO chose Belfast as the venue for this year’s conference. The theme is particularly relevant for schools in the North this year, given that the spring and summer of 2016 will see two important events being commemorated locally, the Easter Rising and the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

“Both events have shaped cultural and political attitudes here and I am sure delegates will have much to share on how we encourage all our young people to appreciate the historical and contemporary significance of the events that took place one hundred years ago.”

The Minister went on to highlight resources now available to schools to support teachers in developing history learning. He said:

“I commissioned the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment to prepare a ‘1916 Mutual Understanding’ programme for schools. This is now available and will provide teachers with curricular support and materials to enable them to explore the history and legacy of the events we are marking this year.”

EUROCLIO Director Jonathan Even-Zohar said:

“We are thrilled to have our 23rd Annual Conference in Belfast. The decade of centenaries offers very rich context which connects the past and the present and challenges the role of history teachers who in a way mediate and interpret the past with their students. Delegates at our conference coming from all over Europe will appreciate the efforts done by the history community in Northern Ireland to promote their subject as a means for peace and reconciliation.

“Participants attending the conference will have the opportunity to engage with the ongoing debate within civil society as to how best events in the past might be handled. They will have an opportunity to experience educational initiatives to help young people better understand the Decade's historical and contemporary importance and to reflect on how similar events are remembered in their own countries.”


Notes to editors: 

  1. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect - Education works or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  2. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.


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