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Nicosia’s Coffeeshops, Bazaars, Architecture Through Time

Nicosia, 7 November, 2009: More than 100 educators participated in the two-day Council of Europe educational seminar and workshops held at the Ledra Palace Hotel, Fulbright Centre and Goethe Institute on 6 and 7 November, 2009.

‘Multiple views – Multicultural Nicosia: The Use of Interactive Methods in Teaching History’ seminar and workshops were organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the inter-communal Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) through its “Multiperspectivity and Intercultural Dialogue in Education” project with the support of Teacher Trade Unions across the divide and the United Nations Development Programme Action for Cooperation and Trust.

The seminar and workshops offered fascinating insights into the multicultural nature of Nicosia through the centuries, and focused on specific pedagogic aims such as: Using interactive methods to develop pupils’ historical concepts; developing teachers’ competences for teaching history in a multilingual, multicultural context and assessing pupils’ historical knowledge and skills

The working languages of the Workshops were English, Greek and Turkish and interpretation was provided. During the workshops, history teacher trainers worked in teams of three, two Cypriot trainers, representatives of two of the biggest communities of the island (one Greek-Cypriot, one Turkish-Cypriot ) and one international expert.

Workshops sessions were organised in a lively, interactive way, with the interested participation of Cypriot teachers seeking to enhance their understanding of pedagogical methods in the history lesson. Examples were given on how sources can be incorporated into classroom practice and teachers took away with them suggestions on how they can assess pupils’ knowledge and skills. Teachers prepared their own lesson plans using these types of sources, presented them to the other groups and discussed possible use of these lesson plans in a future supplementary pedagogical set of materials.

Trainers on the topic of “Multicultural Interactions and Architecture of Nicosia” were Mr Brian Carvell, UK, Ms Alev Nedjet Tugberk, Cyprus and Ms Maria Mavrada, Cyprus, with a pedagogical focus on using interactive methods to develop pupils’ historical concepts. On the topic of “Multiculturalism and Coffee-shop Tradition in Nicosia” the trainers were Ms Luisa De Bivar Black, Portugal, Mr Hasan Samani, Cyprus, and Ms Eleni Avaraam Antoniou, Cyprus, who used a pedagogical approach of developing teachers’ competencies for teaching history in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural context. The workshop on “Trade and Bazaars in Nicosia” was taught by Mr John Hamer, UK, Ms Fezile Ishik, Cyprus and Ms Despina Pashia, Cyprus, and used the pedagogical approach of assessing pupils’ historical knowledge and skills.

The opening session was chaired by Ms Tatiana MINKINA-MILKO, Deputy Head of the History Education Division, Council of Europe; Mr Taye-Brook ZERIHOUN, UNFICYP Chief of Mission and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General; Mr. Jaco CILLIERS , UNDP-ACT Senior Programme Manager; Dr Chara MAKRIYIANNI, President of  the  Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) & Mr Dervish COMUNOĞLU, Project Manager of AHDR; Mr Şener ELCIL, Secretary General of Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Trade Union, KTÖS; Mr George KOLLIFAS, President of the Association of Teachers of Technical Education of Cyprus, OLTEK; Mr Andreas TSOLAKIS, Deputy Secretary of Cyprus Greek Teachers' Organisation, POED; Mrs Eleftheria THEODOROU, Member of the Executive Board of the Organisation of Secondary School Teachers of Cyprus, OELMEK;
Mr Hasan Sarpten, Education Secretary of Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers' Union, KTÖΕΟS.

About the Council of Europe
The primary aim of the Council of Europe is to create a common democratic and legal area throughout the whole of the continent, ensuring respect for its fundamental values: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

About the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR)
The AHDR enlists members from various ethnic, linguistic, and professional backgrounds working at different educational levels in Cyprus. Its Board, comprising Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot educators and historians, is a unique  example of how productive cooperation, creative ideas and respect can blossom across the divide towards shared goals.

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