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The Observatory on History Teaching in Europe

Doc. 15423: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 15423 | 27/01/2022 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly emphasises that history education is of key importance to strengthen common values and promote a reflection on history thereby bringing people together rather than dividing them. Stimulating historical analysis and debate will help young people to acquire a critical understanding of the past with all its complexities and can provide the answers to critically understand the present.
2On 12 November 2020, the Committee of Ministers established the Enlarged Partial Agreement on the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe and to date 17 member States have joined. The activities of the Observatory focus on producing regular reports on the state of history teaching in the participating member States, publishing thematic reports on specific topics, as well as organising annual conferences and events, thereby offering a knowledge-exchange platform for experts, policy makers and history education professionals.
3The Assembly welcomes the decision of the Committee of Ministers to establish this new co-operation instrument, also giving a timely impetus to its long-standing intergovernmental programme on history education. Through synergy, their combined activities can help member States to address the challenges for history education in the 21st century.
4Over the past few years the Council of Europe has developed the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture and the guiding principles for history education, with a set of models and methods to help teachers adapt them in the classroom. Combined, they can inspire and guide young people to develop attitudes of openness to cultural difference, respect and responsibility and to develop particular skills such as autonomous learning, analytical thinking, dialogue and argumentation including conflict resolution skills, which clearly intersect with competences that are needed to exercise democratic citizenship in society.
5The Assembly holds that in increasingly diverse societies, it is crucial to learn about cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity and interactions to avoid a mono-cultural curriculum. Multiperspectivity is fundamental to understanding different standpoints which often result from a specific historical context. When analysed in the classroom and considered together they create a nuanced and deeper understanding of the historical dimension of any event.

25 January 2022

Tabled by Mr Andrey EPISHIN, Mr Sergey KISLYAK, Mr Vladimir KRUGLYI, Mr Vladimir KOZHIN, Ms Irina RUKAVISHNIKOVA

Votes: 29 in favor 55 against 2 abstentions

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 5, insert the following sentence:

"These tasks should be completed, first of all, through the teaching of universal history (the history of foreign countries)."

6Accordingly, the Assembly calls for the member States of the Council of Europe to:
6.1join the Enlarged Partial Agreement on the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe and fully benefit from this knowledge-exchange platform for experts, policy makers and history education professionals;
6.2take an active part in the work of the intergovernmental sector on history education of the Council of Europe Directorate General of Democracy;
6.3undertake a strategic policy review to incorporate the Council of Europe guiding principles for history education and the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture in their education policies, and in particular:
6.3.1concerning curricula and methodologies to:
6.3.1.1develop flexibility of history curricula to provide more time and autonomy for teachers to move away from knowledge-based towards learner-centred and competence-based teaching;
6.3.1.2introduce teaching of the complex history of democracy and develop democratic practices, attitudes and values in the classroom;
6.3.1.3develop methodologies to stimulate critical thinking by learning to evaluate historical sources and make well informed judgements;
6.3.1.4develop multiperspectivity in history education to analyse different standpoints that together create the historical dimension of any event;
6.3.1.5introduce learning about cultural, religious and ethnic diversity and interactions to avoid a mono-cultural and one-sided curriculum;

25 January 2022

Tabled by Mr Andrey EPISHIN, Mr Sergey KISLYAK, Mr Vladimir KRUGLYI, Mr Vladimir KOZHIN, Ms Irina RUKAVISHNIKOVA

Votes: 27 in favor 62 against 1 abstention

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.3.1.5, insert the following words:

"(these tasks should be completed, first of all, through the teaching of universal history (the history of foreign countries))"

6.3.1.6develop interactive pedagogies and co-operative learning in small groups which acknowledge cultural differences and multiple identities among learners in a class;
6.3.1.7consider introducing sensitive and controversial issues to overcome prejudice and bias;
6.3.1.8open up a European perspective in history education by identifying historical themes that are common in Europe and that could be considered from similar or different perspectives;
6.3.2concerning measures to create a supportive and enabling environment for teachers and learners:
6.3.2.1multiply opportunities for professional exchange and development among teachers and use different teaching resources and guidance – including the Council of Europe guiding principles – available in local languages;
6.3.2.2include the “Competences for Democratic Culture” in teacher education and professional development;
6.3.2.3bridge the gap between formal and non-formal education by encouraging partnerships with cultural institutions and other relevant partners outside schools (museums, archives, libraries, etc);
6.3.2.4encourage the use of digital technologies in history education to promote collaborative learning as well as international co-operation with other schools;
6.3.2.5guarantee free access to virtual learning environments, which give access to open educational resources.
7While acknowledging the subsidiarity principle and independence of the European Union member States to decide freely on policies in education and history teaching, the Assembly would welcome the participation of the European Union in the activities of the Observatory and its support to co-operation programmes and innovative pilot projects for quality history education.

25 January 2022

Tabled by Mr Andrey EPISHIN, Mr Sergey KISLYAK, Mr Vladimir KRUGLYI, Mr Vladimir KOZHIN, Ms Irina RUKAVISHNIKOVA

Votes: 83 in favor 5 against 3 abstentions

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 7, insert the following words:

"in accordance with the Observatory Statutory documents".

Explanatory note

According to the Observatory Statutory documents the EU participates in its activities as an observer.

CDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2021) “The Observatory on History Teaching in Europe”, believes that history education is key to strengthening a sense of citizenship. Historical knowledge and critical understanding of political, social, cultural and economic systems and of their interaction are the basis of a more nuanced and mutually respectful debate, and of deeper understanding of the past and present, thus preparing young people for democracy.
2The Assembly welcomes the decision of the Committee of Ministers to establish the Enlarged Partial Agreement on the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe, also giving a timely impetus to its long-standing intergovernmental programme on history education. Following this very positive momentum, the Assembly considers that it would be important to define in more detail how the activities of the Observatory would tie in with the ongoing work of the Council of Europe on history education (involving 47 member States), so that they are mutually reinforcing.
3The Assembly emphasises that the Council of Europe guiding principles for history education and the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture are excellent guiding tools to be further promoted and broadly implemented in member States.
4In this context, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
4.1provide adequate support for the activities of the Council of Europe Education Department concerning history education to ensure good synergy with the activities of the Observatory and a long-term viability of the intergovernmental programme;
4.2provide assistance to member States to review their education policies, and also to integrate the Council of Europe guiding principles for history education and the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture;
4.3develop co-operation with the European Union, UNESCO and other relevant international organisations within the framework of the activities of the Observatory;

25 January 2022

Tabled by Mr Andrey EPISHIN, Mr Sergey KISLYAK, Mr Vladimir KRUGLYI, Mr Vladimir KOZHIN, Ms Irina RUKAVISHNIKOVA

Votes: 28 in favor 64 against 2 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 4.3, replace the words "the European Union, UNESCO" with the following words:

"UNESCO, the European Union".

Explanatory note

Global organisations should be mentioned before regional ones. Moreover, not all participants of the Observatory are members of the EU. In addition, the EU, unlike UNESCO, does not have its own competence in the field of historical education.

4.4encourage co-operation between European professional associations and institutes active in history education, making full use of the networking platform provided by the Observatory;
4.5invite those States parties to the European Cultural Convention (ETS No. 18) not yet members of the Enlarged partial agreement on the Observatory on History Teaching in Europe to join it.