Fourth international Verba Magistri Methodology Lab Summer School for educators a 2021 success
The brainchild of V. Kuryliw, the innovative lesson was published in Ukrainian in book form (100 pages) by HREC Press in Ukraine in time for the 2021 Summer School; the book was gifted to each of the participating educators. It serves as an example of how a lesson with an emphasis on human rights and the values of a democratic society, which develops critical and historical thinking skills, should be presented. Methodologically it creates an active learning classroom which models students working individually and in cooperative learning groups withpeer-to-peer instruction on a highly organized activity to acquire and practice these desired skills. The role of the teacher therefore shifts from the position of an all-knowledgeable authority dispensing information, to becoming a facilitator that provides feedback and enables student skill development through meaningful interactions by organizing lessons in such a way that students research guided resources and solve problems, map concepts as teams, come to their own conclusions and then reflect together upon their experiences.
“The knowledge, pedagogical experiences and unforgettable emotions form good memories for the teacher-practitioner. They will inspire interesting research, professional considerations and be a motivation to the creation and implementation of new projects.” –Lilia Bolianiuk, educator, Ternopil, Ukraine
On August 6th, Kuryliw presented a second workshop on “ЛюдськийПрава і Цінності/Human Rights and Values,” about teaching human rights and the Holodomor. Teachers took part in activities exemplifying authoritarian and democratic governments (Sparta and Athens), analyzed and examined the societal values and human rights inherent in each system – or lack thereof.
From this interactive work they came to a clear understanding of the values, knowledge, information, and skills each form of government determines for their education system so as to create responsible citizens within each society. This lesson helps teachers and students develop their historical and critical thinking skills. It models for educators what type of activities and methods can be used to have students analyze and synthesize resources, reach their own conclusions, develop their critical thinking, and become responsible and active citizens in their society.
“An incredibly busy 10 days: “Verba Magistri” is a bridge and a space for the free exchange of views between academics and educators in introduction to effective educational methods for teaching about the Holodomor and other genocides and for forming respect for human rights and humanistic values in young adults. It’s the most interesting program – all conditions for teacher growth and development and more have been created. Thank you to the organizers for the new experiences and knowledge, for the motivation and inspiration, the thematic excursions and active recreation, the many recommendations and attention to each of us participants.” –Anna Kholodniak, history teacher (2020 Teacher of the Year), Kremenchuk, Ukraine
The Verba Magistri Methodology Lab’s atmosphere of friendliness and trust allows participating educators to exchange ideas and find answers to questions regarding the main purpose of education and the role of teachers in today’s changing world. Teachers learn how knowledge is best conveyed, and how best to help students learn the lessons of the Holodomor while promoting social and civic competence, cultural literacy, and entrepreneurship, and instilling in students respect for human rights and a willingness to defend them.
“It’s a unique experience of cooperation with famous scientists, of changing one’s worldviews and finding new landmarks, for professional growth and great motivation, active recreation, and a productive creative atmosphere which is created daily by the organizers, teachers, and students in the school. I am incredibly grateful for every moment of our ten-day training! This experience has changed my worldview and inspired new achievements!” –Tatiana Demochko, educator, Vasylivka, Zaporizhia.
Through a combination of academic lectures, hands-on workshops, presentations, discussions, film screenings and interesting excursions, the Summer School program for educators builds capacity for teachers to broaden their range of advanced teaching methodologies, share current resources and successes, and create a sense of connectedness and shared purpose among Holodomor teachers across Ukraine. Graduates receive a Certificate from the Ministry of Education and Sciences and continue to act as mentors to train other colleagues, becoming involved in pilot projects for teaching the history of the Holodomor in schools.
For further information about the Verba Magistri Methodology Lab Summer School Program: https://www.holodomor-hrec.com/education/summer-school/