One of the most interesting teaching moments today in the seminar was the issue about how history is told from the perspective of each country or culture involved. I think that teachers must teach facts and allow students to reach their own conclusions. The big dilemma is when teachers have to teach what the government tell them to teach with a curriculum most of the times bisased towards the its own country. Our compromise with students is to teach them how to think and give them the tools to reach their own conclusions. Of course, there are non negotiables in terms of human rights and universal principles. The issue that came up today about the Serb teachers and the Bosnian tour guide was an excelllent opportunity for our teachers from both countries to respond as good educators who look for peace and harmony despite the differences their countries have lived in the past. They both have a common goal of reaching peace and moving on by educating their students and showing them that boths Serbs and Bosnians can work together for a better future.
This is an anecdote I will share with my students. I want them to reach their own conclusions about the lessons we can learn from this situation.
As a teacher, I also think we have to be careful with the cultural diversity we may have in our classroom at the moment of making judgement. Actually, we should not make judgement but teach facts as they happen. This is a critical issue when we work with diverse populations.