Crossing Views on the First World War

Crossing Views on the First World War image

Crossing Views on the First World War is a project website. The partners in the project include educational associations and teaching bodies and are carrying out research in schools in France, Belgium, Romania, Austria, Italy, Poland and Germany. 


The aim of the project is to approach the teaching of the First World War from a new angle, to build pedagogical tools for teachers' initial training and to develop both initial and continuing training modules about the First World War for teachers. In the past, there has been a tendency to look at the subject from a national or nationalistic aspect. The project partners want to take a different viewpoint, "going past the narrowness of the national vision and to propose a European perspective of this part of our shared history". They also want to integrate into teaching the input from recent research trends which is moving in the direction of a "multiple, compared history".


The project partners are keen for this not to be a theoretical exercise, but want to compare and challenge experiences, practices and concepts among participants to build teaching tools and training modules (both Initial and Continuing) for teachers.


The project has four axis:


  • Analysing and comparing the First World War in the syllabus and curriculum of different countries
  • First World War in history courses: methods of teaching, exchange and comparison of sections of a programme devoted to a particular aspect of the war, priority given to the war in the programme
  • Critical analysis of the use of visits to museums and historic sites in the history course
  • How to use the following in the course and how they fit with pupils' understanding of the War: Memorials (eyewitness accounts) and public recognition (sites, routes, cemeteries, war memorials, films, ceremonies, post cards, literature).  What does the war represent for a pupil in the 21st century?


At every opportunity, the project will prioritise the exchange of knowledge and practice to take education past the national dimension in order to open up the history of "Europe at War", taking into account all aspects of the conflict and the views of all countries.


The timetable for the project commenced in November 2007 and continues until September 2009.  Phases still to be completed are as follows:


  • Phase 3 (March 2009 to August 2009): Testing and evaluation of the module with target groups in partner countries
  • Phase 4 (March 2009 to August 2009): Finalising the content of the module from results collected in Phase 3.  Finalising the platform and support: internet, DVD.  The module will be available in French, English, German, Italian, Polish and Romanian.
  • Phase 5 (August 2009 to September 2009): Large scale distribution of the module.  Final project evaluation.


First World War

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Citizenship, History

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