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European NAvigator (ENA)


Isabelle Voegeli
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European NAvigator (ENA), a multimedia database on the history and institutions of post-war Europe, is the flagship service of the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l’Europe (CVCE). Accessible on www.ena.lu., the database provides students, researchers and anyone who is interested with all that is necessary to form their own opinions about the process of European integration. ENA brings together more than 7000 rigorously selected documents. The material is structured chronologically and by subject, each section featuring original historical documents – photos, sound clips, film recordings, treaties, press articles, cartoons and so on – alongside documents created by the CVCE, such as interviews, and interactive maps and diagrams.

For two years we have worked with some pilote sites to see how such a database can be used in class. Among our pilot sites at university level are the European University Institute in Florence and the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Luxemburg. Concerning the secondary schools we’ve worked mainly in Luxembourg until now where we have direct contacts with the schools and also work within the framework of teacher’s life-long learning.

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For two years we have worked with some pilote sites to see how such a database can be used in class. Among our pilot sites at university level are the European University Institute in Florence and the Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Luxemburg. Concerning the secondary schools we’ve worked mainly in Luxembourg until now where we have direct contacts with the schools and also work within the framework of teacher’s life-long learning.

This is a good idea. Have you considered producing web quests based on this material? I am sure this will increase the number of people using your materials. Especially if they have been produced by teachers who have some idea of how the material could be best used in the classroom.

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Concerning the secondary schools we’ve worked mainly in Luxembourg until now where we have direct contacts with the schools and also work within the framework of teacher’s life-long learning.

I got to know this web site long time ago and I have always considered it as the most complete database on European Union history.

I have been working on European Union and European Citizenship for several years and I do think that elaborating some webquests or other sort of didactic sequences with the material you provide can be an excellent idea to work with upper secondary education students all over Europe.

Isabelle, have you thought of translating all or some of ENA documents into other European languages? Spanish, German, Italian?

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It looks a realy interesting collection on an important and highly relevant theme to young people growing up at the start of the 21st century. One of the tensions of the dataset is its integrity as a historical overview of the whole topic, i.e. its use to historians and scholars, and its usability in schools. As John suggests, if it is to be optimised for use in schools, it might be helpful to invest some time in devising 'pathways' through the material, trying to problematise some of the questions the resource poses, and focusing on high inpact and accessible elements of the dataset.

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