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N. Tkachenko

Non-formal education

17 Jan 2018 - by Nataliia Tkachenko

Nataliia Tkachenko is an educator at the International Youth Meeting Centre (IYMC) in Oświęcim, Poland, which specialises in historical and civic education based around Auschwitz as a place of commemoration and learning.

She used some of the ‘tools’ from Stories that Move in a German-Polish-Ukrainian student project ‘Learning from History: discrimination’, run by the IYMC in cooperation with Stätte der Begegnung (Place of Encounter), an independent German organisation offering non-formal political education aimed at all ages.

Read about Nataliia’s experiences here.










The aim of this multinational project was to combine historical education about Auschwitz and the persecution of particular groups under the Nazi regime with civic education about discrimination in society today. The group consisted of students of linguistics, history, pedagogy and social studies.

Although the participants were aged 18-25 and therefore older than the target group of Stories that Move, the learning paths proved to be an effective way of approaching a complex topic and provoking lively discussions. We slightly modified the learning paths, adding more theoretical background information on the issues under discussion.

  • We used the STM paths Facing discrimination and Taking action. By getting them to interpret and depict the machinery of discrimination for themselves, participants were able share their own understanding of the mechanisms and terminology concerned. The discussions about possible anti-discrimination activities were particularly absorbing.
  • The video clips of young people talking about their experiences held a stronger appeal for these older participants than texts or examples from the media. As representatives of mainstream society, it was easier for them to include the stories from the videos into their sphere of caring.
  • The STM speakers all being from different backgrounds functioned especially well in a multinational group, eliminating the feeling that discrimination is only an issue in remote, underdeveloped parts of the world.

As well as engaging in lively discussions, participants visually presented their reflections in the form of posters drawing attention to different forms of discrimination in the modern world. They felt working with STM was an interesting approach to the topic and some suggested they would use it in their pedagogical activity in the future.

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