“Modern History.eu” Educational Portal
This is the Initiative’s flagship, launched in 2009 in response to numerous complaints from Czech history teachers who had lacked high quality educational materials for lessons in 20th-century history.Modern History portal allows teachers to quickly and easily find all the materials they need, including methodology for pupils and students, tutoring or working presentations, high quality copies of period photographs, press cuttings, caricatures or reproductions of art works in photo galleries, primary resources, history studies and references to resources and professional literature. They can view and download all this for free within just a few minutes. Although less than four years old, the portal offers over 650 methodological materials, 250 sets of text-based and icon-based resources, and is regularly expanded on a systematic basis. The published materials are evaluated as regards teaching methodology and expertise by the editorial board and with the assistance of historians from renowned institutions.
Project of Conferences and Educational Seminars for Teachers – “Silence Is Also a Lie”
We have already held five annual conferences, three of which have been international, on the topic of how to educate people about totalitarianism. They have included a display of educational projects by major educational institutions as well as non-profit organisations which work in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The cycle of seminars for primary and secondary school teachers focuses on the relevant periods or specific historical phenomena, characters and events of 20th-century history. They are interpreted by historians, witnesses and the teachers themselves who, as part of their workshops, share their experience and discuss various approaches to teaching our recent history in the context of global events.
Two-day and One-day Student Conferences
We have already organised eight annual large-scale two-day secondary-school conferences at Olga Havlova Grammar School in Ostrava-Poruba on selected topics of modern history. Over the past two years we have been organising one-day student conferences for pupils in various regions around the Czech Republic.
Our international projects have focused on the younger generation. We believe that historical awareness and an understanding of our close neighbours are fundamental to our ability to recognise and name what we have in common and what our differences are. Since 2010 we have been working closely with educational institutions and schools in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. Our results so far have involved international student exchanges and more than two hundred educational materials, which are easily available to every teacher in Central Europe in every language on our portal, i.e. including Hungarian, Polish and Slovak.
Travelling Exhibitions, Educational DVDs and Publications
The travelling exhibitions on the topics of characters and events from modern history have so far included The 1968 Occupation, Pavel Tigrid, The Berlin Wall, and Olga Havlova, and we are preparing more. Each exhibition is visited by thousands of students and their teachers at schools in every corner of the country. The teachers are provided with exhibition catalogues and DVDs with full versions of the panel texts, worksheets for students and educational materials. Using the worksheets in the exhibition is an attractive way of getting students engrossed in the topic and teaches them how to work in groups. We have also published several educational DVDs for teachers and practical methodological materials.
Documentary Film DVDs
In collaboration with university film students, we have prepared two DVDs entitled “They Were Alone against the Evil” and “History in the Flesh”, which contain films giving unique witness testimony and an array of methodological materials.
Our initiative holds two pupil and student contests, namely an international contest entitled EUSTORY and a national contest entitled 20th Century Stories, where we offer students who are keen on history a chance to find a way of getting into their own historical research, and evoke their interest in history, events, places and witnesses.
Jaromir Savrda Prize for Testimony on Totalitarianism
The PANT Civic Initiative has been awarding this prize every year to mark Human Rights Day. The prize commemorates Jaromir Savrda, the writer, dissident and Charter 77 signatory who was harshly persecuted by the Communist regime. The prize is awarded to those who proactively seek to promote the truth of the non-free Czechoslovakian era. Vaclav Havel was one of the winners of the prize.