SENSE - Center for Transitional Justice in collaboration with the Croatian History Teachers' Association (HUNP) held a fourth webinar in the "De-weaponizing History" series in which teachers from the countries of the region shared their experiences and teaching methods on the topics of children affected by war and the destruction of cultural heritage.
The webinars aim to demonstrate practical use of SENSE Center's archive with data on trials and judgements handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in educational process.
At the beginning of the webinar, participants held a minute's silence in honor of Mirko Klarin, the founder and head of SENSE Center, who passed away four months ago.
Teachers from Montenegro, North Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, who had previously used SENSE materials to prepare their teaching lessons, shared their experiences on how to introduce students to topics that may be difficult and sensitive, what photos to show children, what questions to ask, which general humane values can be mentioned in the context and how to motivate students to make their own conclusions based on critical thinking.
The introductory speaker of the webinar, Mire Mladenovski from the North Macedonian Organization of History Teachers, a partner in this webinar, pointed out that the classroom should not be the place producing discussions that could lead to new conflicts. Talking about war is difficult, but a responsible teacher should bring up the topic in order to send a message that wars are not a solution and that they should not happen again, he said. "We gathered at this webinar to share our good practices and learn from each other".
Among others, Lazar Nitović from Montenegro, Vesna Dujaković from Serbia, Frosina Avramovska and Ana Micevska from North Macedonia, as well as Anita Vodopivec, Sonja Poljak and Josip Naglić from Croatia presented their methodological approaches to topics of culturocide or children affected by war.
In the coming webinars the partners will be history teachers' organizations from other countries in the region to continue and develop mutual interaction, announced one of the webinar organizers, Igor Jovanović from HUNP. In his conclusion Mladenovski said: "We have shown creativity and cooperation in this webinar. Cross-border cooperation is crucial".