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The Educational Project of the Historical Archives of the EU Expands

Posted on 30 May 2017

Increased involvement of schools in the activities of the Historical Archives of the European Union, which renews its commitment to student formation and the desire to be receptive to citizens. 

The Educational Project of the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) has concluded its current school year activities involving more than 1,000 students from primary, secondary and high schools. Approaching the fifth year of the HAEU’s school programme, the project will be presented in June by a poster at the First Italian Conference on Public History, in Ravenna. The HAEU school project is organised in collaboration with FMA, the Former Member Association of the European Parliament and has expanded in 2016 through the “A New Treaty for Europe” competition which concluded with an awards ceremony with participation of the President of the Italian Senate, Mr Pietro Grasso, at Villa Salviati on 4 May 2017. 

The education programme has the objective of bringing students and teachers into contact with the rich archival heritage of the HAEU, along with the teaching of the fundamental aspects of the history of European integration. Usually organised in two lessons per class - one focusing on history, the other in the form of an interactive workshop - the project has also considered the feedback coming directly from schools and has adapted to specific requests. Thanks to the collaboration with the “Flor T.O.” tour operator, this school year about 300 students arrived to the Archives from various regions of Italy on school trips, and took special lessons on the history of the EU; additionally, the “Fogazzaro” high school from Vicenza brought two classes to visit the HAEU. 

Two special sessions were organized for the “Giotto Ulivi” High School from Borgo San Lorenzo: the first consisted in a lecture on the failure of the “Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe” of 2004; the second session involved the organisation of a seminar given to final year students, to prepare them for their diploma exam on European topics. The seminar was held on 26 April 2017, with the participation of more than 130 students.

Towards a new treaty: second grade secondary schools

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the HAEU organised a series of lectures ear-marked for high schools, launching the “A New Treaty for Europe” competition. The initiative, announced by the HAEU together with “Firenze Città Metropolitana” and under the patronage of the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers, garnered a tremendous response from the schools; 18 classes and more than 330 students participated and drafted proposals for the reform of the European Union’s education policy. The winners of the competition were class 5D of the Institute “Elsa Morante”, class 5A of the High School “Pascoli”, and class 4B of the “Virgilo” from Empoli. All three schools were honoured by President Pietro Grasso at the 4 May award ceremony.

A model for understanding Europe: the middle schools visit the HAEU 

In 2016/17 this activity involved 11 classes and about 260 students from primary and middle schools. It was supported by “Le Chiavi della Città”, the portal of the Municipality of Florence that offers extra-curricular projects and training courses for local schools. After a lesson devoted to European history and the EU institutions, the classes were invited to simulate a debate and make the rights of the Nice Charter more applicable to their daily life. As conclusion of the programme for this running year, on 15 May 2017 students of the “Giovanni della Casa” school from Borgo San Lorenzo visited the HAEU, and met former MEP Monica Baldi. 

The educational team of the HAEU is now preparing the school programme for the school year 2017/18 and renews its commitment to the Archives’ educational activities that will again bring numerous classes of primary, secondary and high school levels to Villa Salviati.