From War History to Modern Education (2015–2017)
The municipality of Rautjärvi in collaboration with the Lappeenranta University of Technology and the University of Tartu were granted EU funding from the Europe for Citizens Programme and more specifically from the European Remembrance section for the project “From War History to Modern Education” (1.8.2015–30.1.2017). The goal of the project was to explore young children’s experiences of the Second World War and put this into applied use, developing new tools for experiential learning. The municipality of Rautjärvi was the accountable partner of the project and the universities were responsible for carrying out the research. The research team’s findings have been used to create new tools for experiential learning to be used as part of the history education at schools.
The project was divided into two parts. In the first part of the project, the research was carried out in Rautjärvi and in the nearby regions (folklorist Mikko Europaeus), and in Estonia in the island of Saaremaa and in Tartu city (Aivo Põlluäär, MA student in folklore). The research included interviews of people who experienced the Second World War and its effects when they were children or adolescents. The purpose of the interviews was to find out how the children were talked to about the war and its effects, and how they would have liked the war to be explained. The material collected in Finland and Estonia were compared, and the conclusions were written in the research report.
In the second part of the project, based on the collected material, the educational comic was created. The comic describes the war from the viewpoint of children and adolescents. The purpose was to find new points of view of the subject matter and through them help children understand war even a little bit better. To support this purpose, the live action role-playing game was created. The LARP combines experiencing war as a child and learning about the Second World War. The material was collected to the website in order for it to be accessible anywhere in Europe. More similar content can be produced for the website in the future. The final stage was to develop an educational drama tour suitable for adolescents in which they can learn about the Second World War through experiential learning.
The comic and the live action role-playing game are available in Finnish, English and Estonian and they are free to be used and distributed.
You will find downloadable materials from: www.childrenofwartime.com
Live action role-playing game “Homefront”
The project has been organised by Juha-Pekka Natunen from the municipality of Rautjärvi.
Juha-Pekka Natunen, Mike Pohjola, Teemu Heikkinen, Irina Raski, Tapio Mömmö, Mikko Europaeus, Aivo Põlluäär, Pihla Siim and Pertti Kolari.
Juha-Pekka Natunen, project manager, Rautjärvi municipality, tel. +358 40 762 4217, e-mail: juha-pekka.natunen [ät] rautjarvi.fi
Aivo Põlluäär, MA student of the Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, tel. +372 53 244 780, e-mail: aivo [ät] folklore.ee
Pihla Siim, research assistant, Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, tel. +372 737 6256, e-mail: pihla.siim [ät] ut.ee