Berlin has had an intense history over the past century, having been divided into two areas along with the German Democratic Republic. This division has had significant consequences over the decades, impacting social, economic, and cultural aspects of the city.
Additionally, the construction of the Berlin Wall had repercussions not only in Europe but also worldwide.
The course aims to provide teachers and school staff with the opportunity to reflect on the recent history of Berlin, a city that was once divided, through visits to the Wall and museums about the GDR, providing diverse perspectives and engaging on-site experiences.
The primary purpose of the course is to analyze the historical and social motivations that led to the division of Germany and their profound and lasting effects on both German and European society up to the present day.
Through this analysis, participants will gain valuable insights to convey to their students how totalitarian regimes work, what led to their establishment, and even more importantly, how to prevent such situations from occurring in the future.
During the course, participants will learn innovative ways to implement the history of the wall into school curricula, also using student-centered methodologies such as project-based learning and cooperative strategies, teaching them how similar situations can be avoided in tomorrow’s Europe and the world.
Furthermore, participants will acquire valuable insights to convey to their students the democratic values upon which the European Union is constituted.
By the end of the course, participants will know how to implement the Berlin Wall topic into their school curriculum and how to connect this to current socio-historical challenges as a crucial element for reflection.
The course will help participants to:
- Understand the recent history of Berlin and central Europe;
- Learn creative and cooperative activities to explain the history of the Berlin Wall;
- Design student-centered activities to explain the history of the Berlin Wall;
- Reflect on the experience of the Berlin Wall.
Day 1 – The Berlin Wall
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Warm-up activities;
- Presentations of the participants’ schools;
- The Berlin Wall: a brief history;
- Berlin today and the diffused feeling of Ostalgie.
Day 2 – What is left from the Berlin Wall
- Visit to the East Side Gallery;
- The Wall Memorial in Bernauer Strasse.
Day 3 – State security in the GDR
- State security and opponents in the GDR;
- Visit to the Stasi prison.
Day 4 – Everyday life in the GDR
- Designing driving questions about everyday life in the GDR;
- Visit to the museum about everyday life in the GDR;
- Visit to the Palace of Tears.
Day 5 – Explaining the Berlin Wall
- Designing student-centered activities about the Berlin Wall;
- What you take with you from the Berlin experience;
- Sharing ideas and activities to be implemented in class.
Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities
- Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion.
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance.
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.