The Dutch public broadcaster VPRO and EuroClio (the European Association for History Educators) co-produced an interactive education kit for students (15 to 18 years old) that challenges and supports them to create their own short documentaries. This creates a one-of-a-kind European exchange project in which students all over Europe film their own recent history and compare and discuss the outcomes of the project with each other.
History Caught In The Act
VPRO television joined forces with the internationally renowned author Geert Mak travelling through Europe and its history in order to give meaning to the decade 1999 – 2020. These years are marked by crucial historical events, such as the Twin Towers attack, an increase in migration, disastrous climate change and the #metoo movement. The main question that both the television makers and the writer try to answer is:
“Is it possible to recognize history when you’re still in the midst of it when nobody knows just yet how it will end?”
In Europe Schools
In line with the television series, VPRO and EuroClio produced an interactive education kit for students in grades 3, 4, and 5 of senior secondary and pre-university education. We created an education programme that contributes to forming opinions, European Citizenship and media literacy.
We have selected four themes from the series and created an interactive toolkit around each theme. Those themes are:
- Difficult history
- Gender equality
- Climate Change
The interactive school kit includes: history lessons, tailored excerpts from the series, an instructive education letter with assessments for teachers and six tutorials to facilitate them in making the short documentaries.
You are welcome to take a look on our website, where you will find the first 2 themes: Vpro.nl/ineuropeschools
Learning History By Making Your Own Documentary
Starting off with a starter clip of the series, students are immediately challenged to debate and form a first opinion on the subject. History lessons and attractive background information deepen their knowledge on this subject. Then students create their own short documentaries. They are supported by six tutorials that teach them the most important steps on research, interviewing, filming and editing. They work closely together in small groups, in which each student fulfils one role. Role cards on research, interviewing, filming and editing explain their responsibilities and help them to commit to this role.
VPRO and EuroClio connect every school that joins the programme to a European partner. Schools from over 30 different countries already joined us. This creates a one-of-a-kind European exchange project, in which students not only film their own recent history but also compare and discuss the outcome of the project together. We hope this creates a better understanding between youngsters from all over Europe.
Watch the films they have made on YouTube at In Europe Schools. New materials will be uploaded weekly.
If you are a social science teacher or history teacher and you are interested in joining the project please take a look at the education kit on the following website and register for free: Vpro.nl/ineuropeschools
The project team will contact you personally, help you find a European partner and will be available for advice when needed.
Our television series has been translated into five languages. You can go to YouTube channel In Europe Schools and watch some of our episodes.