Amsterdam is the perfect cosmopolitan venue for considering HEIRNET 2022’s focus on History Education’s role in Connecting Past To Present To Future during an era of an international European war as in the Ukraine, pandemics, including Covid-19, Climate Change & Global Warming, all of which have horrendous implications for the future of the world.
Known as the Venice of the North, Amsterdam is a city of canals, flowers and bicycles. Since the 16th century Amsterdam has been a metropolis at the heart of Europe’s transformative impact upon the world that still permeates, influences and shapes how we live, work and play, our identities and as such connects past and present with the unfolding future.
Connecting Past to Present to Future makes history relevant to students. This can be a difficult task, because they usually tend to think that history is ‘all dead and gone’. Students often fail to see that the only way to make sense of the present and to develop feasible expectations for the future is provided by orientation on the past. Teaching how to connect the past to the present and to the future should therefore be a central concern of history teachers. Relevant history teaching cannot do without these connections rooted in the past. Not only history teaching, but also the decisions and actions of our political masters, as contemporary British history illuminates.