TeacMem: Developing Competence-Orientated Teaching on Historical Memories
The Second (Copenhagen) Seminar – Short Report
Around noon on 28th of September, 2010, 20 members and addressees of the TeacMem Seminar met at the Danish Resistance Museum (Frihedsmuseet) at Churchill Park in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was the offbeat of the Second Seminar for teacher trainers, museum and memorial educators, teachers and teacher students, in which Danish memory culture was to be at the heart of the proceedings.
In a combination of individual and group work as well as plenary sessions, the participants analysed the way this museum presents the Danish national narrative of the Second World War and especially the German occupation of the country and its resistance. Different professional as well as “national” resp. cultural perspectives onto the subject and between this and other related presentations were made visible. The groups for this work were organized in a way which allowed for a maximum of inter-professional and inter-cultural exchange. In a second session, the historical background and the criteria which guided the foundation of the museum in 1945-1957 and the revision of the exhibition in 1995 as well as current plans for an actual reworking were discussed with the curator, Mr Espen.
Afterwards, the participants of the seminar met at Zahle Teacher Training College, where the groups presented and discussed their findings.
The second day of the seminar started with a guided tour at another prominent but very different form of memory culture related to the Second World War, the respectively young Danish Jewish Museum. The curator gave the participants a vivid and very informing presentation on architecture and concept of the museum which was not exclusively focused on the memory of Danish Jews in Second World War, especially their famous rescue to Sweden, but thus allowed for the opening of new discussions on this aspect, some of which are currently researched by the museum (and published in a new book, the English version of which will appear soon), and some were very valuable for the project participants’ reflection on the structure of Danish memorial culture.
Again, a plenary discussion at Zahle Teacher Training College brought together the participants’ findings and analyses.
Both visits to museums provided an interesting contrast to the exhibits and objectivations of memory culture the project participants had investigated and discussed half a year earlier at Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, but will also do so with respect to the Norwegian presentation of their memorial culture regarding resistance in Oslo (Hjemmefrontmuseum, Holocaust Senteret) and Finnmark at the next seminar.
Within the second part of the Seminar, the plenum again divided into groups preparing a first teacher-training lecture (for which teacher-students from both Blaagard KDAS as well as Zahle teacher training college joined the seminar) for the next day, using concepts, criteria and material from their own perceptions and discussion of memory culture.
In a plenary session, Ulrike Jensen and Marco Kühnert presented problems arising in conventional settings of classes’ visits to museums/memorial sites and discussed several aspects.
On the third day, a second input by Prof. Dr. Andreas Körber related both the experienced objectivations of memory culture and the planned teacher-training exercises with the theoretical model of historical thinking, providing for concepts and criteria.
The teacher-training exercises in groups with the teacher training students, their evaluation as well as a joint viewing and analysis of two popular media-types of memory culture from Norway and Denmark, the movies “Max Manus. Man of War” (NO) and “Flamme og Citron” (DK) and the analysis of their presentation of the history of Denmark resp. Norway in WW II and the resistance movement filled the remainder of the third day.
On the fourth and last day of the seminar, the projects participants shifted their focus to the inter-seminar work, planning and discussing concrete focused group projects for the time in between this and the next seminar in 2011 (Oslo and Finnmark). Sketches and Workplans of these group projects will be collected and presented on the internal CommSy-System first.
The project closed with an example of how the internal discussions within the project are being used for developing concepts and material for teacher training on the subject of memory culture. Using the proceedings of the First (Neuengamme) Seminar, documented using the concepts developed by Dr. Claudia Lenz (“stimulated recall”),1 Anne Talsnes and her presented first examples of analyzing theoretical concepts and positions within groups discussions on memory culture. A continuation of this work with the documentation of the final plenary discussion (again using stimulated recall) of the Copenhagen Seminar will be among the groups’ projects.
The seminar closed on Friday, October 1st, at ca. 15.30h.
List of Participants