GEO HISTORY TEXTBOOK

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Geo-history textbook

Friday, 08 February 2019

The first global geo-history textbook for students across Europe!

12 countries, 1 text

The Get up and goals! project provides history teachers of students aged 11-16 years with an innovative school textbook on geo-history based on a global history, (or world history) approach. The textbook will be made available for school classes in 12 countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Spain, Hungary, Italy and will have in each country the same content in terms of text and maps and layout. 

Overcome nationalism and Eurocentrism

The main authors of the textbook are Eric Vanhaute, professor of World History at the Belgian University of Ghent and Claudia Bernardi, professor at the Italian University of Roma Tre.

The aim is to spread a new historical narrative in schools to help overcome both nationalism and Eurocentrism and strengthen the construction of a Europe that is cohesive and in solidarity with the rest of the world. This objective is dictated by the analysis of the most prevalent educational experiences present in the different countries. Traditionally, since the 19th century, the teaching of history has been influenced by the desire to cement the national identity of citizens within their own country. For a long time, school texts of history have excluded most of the events that occurred outside a specific State, an approach that, although partially attenuated, has remained prevalent until the present day.

This approach has reinforced the diffusion of a nationalistic culture, in which the focus is on a "we" limited to national borders and to some European events. Interconnections with the rest of the world and the understanding of cultural and material exchanges, which for millennia have continuously reconfigured the different areas of the planet, remain largely excluded. In the past, this was not always the case: in the centuries prior to the 19th century, the idea of narrating history as the history of the whole humanity was instead widespread in many parts of the world, including China, Japan, the Islamic World and Europe itself.

The idea of the project Get up and goals! to bring the historical narrative to the school environment as global story of humanity is born both from the scientific developments world history, and from the collaboration of teachers engaged in this field, researchers, educational experts, NGOs, cultural associations, great thinkers of the North and South of the world, and from years of European partnerships on projects of global citizenship education in which the desire has taken shape to combine the scientific approach and clarity of the best historical research with a narrative focusing on the whole of humanity and its millenary interconnections.

Educational goals

In concrete terms, the approach used in this textbook aims at achieving some specific educational goals:

  1. To narrate history to all European and world citizens: to this end, the text follows the approach of world history by offering the same pages for all the inhabitants of the continent (and the planet). The world history narrated focuses on the historical facts and mechanisms that, over time, have led to the growing interconnections between the peoples of the planet. Among these historical facts and mechanisms, for example, are the role of the Islamic Empires and long-distance trade in the economic and cultural contacts between European, African, Indian and Chinese people; the Mongolian Pax and the role it had in facilitating relations between East and West; the globalizations from 1500 to present day....


  2. To help students and teachers choose important historical elements: the historical facts are many and a broader focus on all the continents could lead to a disproportioned and excessive amount of pages. On the contrary, this text is not verbose as it only chooses those mechanisms and facts which, according to the current evidence of historical science, have a central importance to understand the formation of the world in which we live today and its present problems. This textbook, therefore, only narrates the most relevant events and historical phenomena that (even without any intention or awareness of the protagonists) have favoured the unfolding of current global patterns in which humanity lives today (useful links to understand the totality and global dimension of events).


  3. To narrate history in a clear way: this text is intentionally written in a style that wants to raise the interest of students and offers several geo-historical maps that help strengthen students’ understanding through the fundamental mechanism of visualization.

  4. To explain the great problems of today: in addition to offering a global view of the human events of the last 70,000 years, the text offers a historical reconstruction which is attentive to the origin and evolution of four major issues that have a crosscutting relevance in today’s world: international inequalities, the condition of women, migratory phenomena, climate and environmental problems. These issues are linked to the main Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that in 2015 the United Nations included in the resolution on the future of humanity and the planet known as Agenda 2030, voted by 194 countries.
Last modified on Monday, 18 March 2019 11:05