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Jaroslav Najbert You look at it this way, boy. How to teach descendants of the orderly citizens of real- socialist Czechoslovakia? History and Memory.

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Presentation on theme: "Jaroslav Najbert You look at it this way, boy. How to teach descendants of the orderly citizens of real- socialist Czechoslovakia? History and Memory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jaroslav Najbert You look at it this way, boy. How to teach descendants of the orderly citizens of real- socialist Czechoslovakia? History and Memory. The Soviet Past November 28-29

2 Teaching history 1. Traditional believe of many historians and public: Teachers are popularisers of the historical science Teachers are popularisers of the historical science Pupils reproduce the facts of the past Pupils reproduce the facts of the past 2. Reality of modern class: Interpretative subject, Interpretative subject, multiperspectivity, multiperspectivity, Interaction with historical consciousness Interaction with historical consciousness

3 Family memory of Communist dictatorship in school education School (teachers, schoolbooks) X Family memory

4 Memory in school education 1. Cultural memory shared within a national collective official text, pictures, rituals school – one of the major carriers and mediators of cultural memory

5 Memory in school education 2. Communicative (family) memory Individual experience of living communicator Individual experience of living communicator Distinctive family understandning and interpretation of the past Distinctive family understandning and interpretation of the past May differ from the cultural memory May differ from the cultural memory

6 Cultural x family memory Cultural memory, August 1968 Family memory, August 1968

7 What shall we teach according to curriculum? History is the cultivation of the individual historical consciousness and the effort to maintain the continuity and historical memory, especially in terms of passing on historical experience. Framework Educational Program (FEP), Ministry of education, 2007

8 Cultural memory in education the formation of positive civic attitudes developing a consciousness of belonging to European civilization and culture promoting the adoption of the values on which contemporary democratic Europe is founded (FEP) MEMORY OF POLITICAL PRISONERS AND OPPONENTS OF COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP

9 My students – mostly descedndants of olderly citizens

10 Research of the family memory Germany Harald Welzez et al. Opa war kein Nazi : Nationalsozialismus und Holocaust im Familiengedächtnis (2002)

11 Research of the family memory Czech Republic Czech Republic Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes Oral historical project for schools Velké a malé příběhy moderních dějin Great and small stories of modern history

12 Confront great history (schoolbooks, TV) with small history (family memories) Three parts: methodological and motivational schooling for students, realization of interviews final analysis and interpretation

13 Characteristics of the project Researched era : Prague Spring - Normalization (era of neostalinism) - Velvet Revolution 220 interviews Ministry of Education grant support

14 Characteristics of the sample Collection does not represent balanced sample of memories of pre Czechoslovak society (not our intention) Collection does not represent balanced sample of memories of pre Czechoslovak society (not our intention) Collection freely available on the website of our Institute Collection freely available on the website of our Institute Above-average share of university absolvents and secondary-school- educated wintesses Above-average share of university absolvents and secondary-school- educated wintesses

15 Conclusions? Specific function of family story telling - an interview within the family becomes a medium for creating an image of the past May be more powerfull than school books Not common description of the past! – evaluation, experience, influence the interviewer

16 The period of Communist dictatorship not uniformly recalled negative evaluation prevails minority nostalgically neutral cases of obvious ostalgie and positive evaluation of the theory and practice of regime of state socialism.

17 Lack of conflict remembering in the families Not clear willingness to challenge moral attitudes or values of family members in the times of real-socialism Communists have disappeared from the families The personal responsibility is often downplayed or externalized with reference to the nature of the time or regime

18 Examples of nonconflict story telling/receiving Merely exceptional spontaneous confession of a membership in the Communist Party Who doesnt steal, robs his family No challenging of the fact that relatives repeatedly lied on public or acted contrary to their conscience (elections, public rituals, etc.)

19 Theses Students accept the anticommunist attitudes prevailing in the cultural memory - - condemnation of injustice, restriction of freedoms, undemocratic communist dictatorship The relatives are not seen as active bearers of values and attitudes against which the pupils define

20 Results? Communists were bastards but there were no bastards in my family. My grandfather was not a Commie.My grandfather was not a Commie. Authors Alert! We need detailed research and comparison within post-communist states We need detailed research and comparison within post-communist states Memory of Nacism x Memory of Communism Memory of Nacism x Memory of Communism

21 Problem of multiperspectivity Different family memories – different pespectives of evaluation Different family memories – different pespectives of evaluation Anticommunist Czech cultural memory accepted by many families X Minority personal memories of times of social stability and orderly life

22 How to teach students with nonconform family tradition? You're wrong boy, your reflection of the past is false, you have to look at it this way. Absolute authority doesnt work in praxis Tolerance in modern education Confront perspectives, not discredit

23 Thank you for your attention Thank you for your attention


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