Mini-LARP on teaching the history of the European Union to young people

Working Group “Mini-LARP on teaching the history of the European Union to young people”

Introduction
During the EUNET Training Course  “Mini LARPs (Live Action Role Plays) and Project Evaluation” the participants noticed a missing creative method which is able to teach the history of the European Union in an interesting way and gives students a feeling for the meaning of the development of the EU. Thus, the participants decided to create a LARP which offers an emotional approach for teaching the history of the European Union to young people.

Content of the LARP
EUNET working group Mini LARP EUThe idea is to enter a time machine together with young people which transports them through time.
Participants should be quickly emotionally involved so that they feel living from inside the development of the European Union as well as the decision making process. So the main idea is to start the LARP in a year 2020 – a dystopia of what they live at the moment. For instance if the seminar topic is an environmental one or sustainability, they have to wear breathing masks because of the bad air pollution. The participants get the information that they have the chance to go back in the past thanks to a time machine and change some decisions in the past. Then they jump to another period. First into the year 1945 just to give them a feeling for what it means to live in war (noises like bombings will be heard…).
Afterwards we jump to a period when important decisions for and in the EU were taken, such as in this case on environmental matters. They have to play the decision process, and take a decision (they should understand how difficult it is to agree when you have laws, institutions and 28 members). At the end we go back into the year 2020 and have a look on the result of their decision: did they save the future? Environment is just one an example. We will try to develop other subjects (creation of Euro, migration policy…).

Methodological approach and aim of the LARP
We want the method to be an interactive framework of a dialogue for the redefinition of the content of European vision, in order to help the students to understand and re-establish the factors of European legitimacy through the subjective examination of EU history.

Furthermore, students, through this interaction, will have the chance to feel as a part of European history without to lose the subjective way of thinking about the European realizations. Their participation sould give them the opportunity to rethink various topics concerning the EU and learn about proceedings of EU development.

In addition, during this method, they will have the privilege to learn about aspects of other countries of the EU and -through the diversity of the examination of European historical moments- will experience a truly supranational historical environment, knowing a European atmosphere, being in contact with different cultures, values, principles, ideas as also cultural elements and heritage, in order to create an enriched European identity suited to the nowadays.

Last but not least, in an ever-changing European situation where everything alters rapidly this method will give them framework to rethink about the content and prospects of the notion of democracy in EU regaining the trust of European institutions from them.