Talking Through Heritage

Program for teachers. Development and piloting of materials on contested heritage.

Lviv, September, 2018 – July, 2020 

The program aims at development and testing of tools and methods for school lessons on heritage related topics.  The designed materials aim at discovering new ways to talk about contested history of the city and its multiethnic past, at helping to understand heritage through inclusion and visibility on unmarked and thus excluded historical sites and places. 

We are fully aware of the overload of teachers and their busy schedules. This project is an attempt not to add another set of sources and information but rather to make it easier to teach certain aspects and themes through specific tools and approaches. All the topics are included in the syllabus, either in linear way, event based, with the focus on "grand history", "great people", and the list of timelines and multiple facts. On the other hand, we would like to challenge, undermine, and highlight the non-linear approach to talking about the history of the city, and to show different perspectives and lenses to historical events, through approaches and use of digital tools. Such approaches are efficient in showing the mosaic of the multilayered and critical look on history, in encouraging children to search for questions and answers, and to develop empathy.

Along with the teachers, we would like to talk about new approaches and views on contested, traumatic, unspoken historical topics and stories as illustrated by local experiences and modern contexts of Lviv. We would like to share experiences and practices of the non-linear view on history, to present the developed methods guides on working with contested topics of the past using digital tools, and the ways to implement it into school curricula and activities.

Target audience

Teachers are key actors in communicating experiences, skills and knowledge that could foster rethinking of heritage and implementation of new approaches to understand and use it. Project deliverables target teachers of history, local area studies, and natural sciences, chiefs of methodological associations, deputy headmasters of schools for discipline, school facilitators,  as well as anyone interested in the workshop topic engaged in the system of secondary education.

Program structure

The program includes several implementation stages. During the first four months, a group of experts and teachers will work together to design the materials. Later, there will be workshops for history teachers and pilot lessons. Program materials will be posted on webpages of educational online resources for public use.

The deliverables will include training manuals (methods guides, experiences, approaches), various sources (texts, images, maps, oral history memories) that aim at including topics of urban heritage into lessons in humanities or serve as materials for general education classes, walks, and tours.

Focus areas

- Practical applicability. We worked with selected topics in order to show how it works on the basis of specific cases.

- Implementation into school curriculum. We collected materials, research, and stories on heritage of the city and tried to include them into the school curriculum.

- Interdisciplinarity. All designed materials are adaptable for use at different subjects or common integrated lessons. 

- Interactive approach, informal tools and practices, work with technology and digital competence.

- Shaping the environment. We have no ambitions that the designed materials would be universal and offer answers to all questions. The project is more about inviting to co-create, to produce the space for reflections, for a dialogue between researchers and educators.

Project team

Iryna Kostiuk – methodologist at Lviv Regional Institute of Post-Graduate Teacher’s Education, trainer at the "Critical Thinking" educational platform, co-author and education editor of training and methodological guides for teachers and pupils, and other publications on history and civic education, Ambassador of the European Association of History Educators EUROCLIO.

Iryna Magdysh – culture manager, initiator and implementer of many cultural and educational projects, co-author of the book "Game of Museum" (ВСЛ, 2018), was head of Department for Culture of Lviv, presently – advisor to the city mayor of Vynnyky on culture.

Yaroslav Sohor – teacher at secondary school No. 7, culture manager, historian. Expert in education of the  "Space of Public Initiatives" NGO, lecturer. Speaker at educational forums.

Taras Nazaruk – coordinator of  "Lviv Interactive" project, an online encyclopaedia that tells the story of the city in the 19th-20th century through places and spaces. The project uses digital tools to research and visualize the history of the city. 

Program coordinator – Khrystyna Boyko (kh.boyko@lvivcenter.org.ua)

Organizer of the program – Center for Urban History 

The program is part of the "ReHERIT: Shared Responsibility for Common Heritage"

The project is funded by the European Union.