History in the 21st Century

On this page, we offer a brief overview of the Department of Education at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes’ activities. It includes a selection of content that was mainly meant for a domestic audience, but you’ll also find our international work here.

About Us

The Department of Education focuses on the teaching of modern history at Czech schools of all levels. Its projects mainly offer pedagogical and methodological support to teachers. Inspired by foreign pedagogy, the department’s methods rely on work with historical sources and media. Its regularly organized seminars then map out the fundamental issues of modern history education in Czech schools and develop new forms of history education. Another of the department’s key activities is developing multimedia applications that teachers can use directly in their instruction. These applications, however, also aim to enter into the public sphere and, just as with the department’s other activities, add to the societal debate about the past.

As the name suggests, the History in the 21st Century (D21) project aims to react to contemporary trends in education and contribute to the improvement of history teaching at Czech schools. We therefore focus our energies on, for example, creating freely available educational applications, creating methodologies for teachers, or developing project-based instruction. We promote the modernization of instructional materials by transferring them to online versions. We also offer both seminars for teachers and lectures at schools and for visiting school groups.

This online presentation arose within the D21 project. Its main goal was to build a creative space that would react to contemporary trends in the pedagogy of history and other social science topics that reflect the past. The target group is primarily teachers, but we would nevertheless like to overcome barriers -- so we also invite museum educators, academics, students, and others who have an interest in the past to take part on the D21 website. Here we like to imagine the pedagogy of history as a dynamic field answering complicated questions that don’t just affect the school environment, which is closed off and framed within the two hours of history classes a week. History forms whole generations’ visions of the past, so it’s imperative to shift away from the usual (although nowadays often wrong) notions about boring factual accounts and steer students towards history as an ever-present issue. D21 focuses primarily on the teaching of modern history, which from the perspective of current societal memory has proven to be a crucial matter.


For International Audiences

Content of the D21 Website

The History in the 21st Century website is intended for teachers and those interested in the issues presented by teaching social science subjects in the Czech environment. Here’s a brief sampling of the content from the individual sections of the website. The whole site is in Czech.

History in the 21st Century

The website includes news, annotations of instructional DVDs, a section about project-based instruction in schools, recommended material, and reactions in the media.

What’s new on D21 and in the general world of history pedagogy? This section of the portal offers an overview of our activity. Besides the current events section, we also provide a selection of the most interesting other parts of the website. In the sections on seminars and historical workshops, we keep users informed about events and workshops held by the Department of Education at USTR. You’ll find the output of these events amongst the topics in the section “Why and How Do You Teach History?” D21’s pivotal activity is creating educational applications. At the core of our methodological thinking are comprehensive methodological books focused on the use of audiovisual media and project-based instruction in history.

Why and How Do You Teach History?

Pedagogical and methodological inspiration, model lessons, comprehensive methods of project-based instruction, and the use of film in history teaching.

Why and how do you teach history? It’s not easy to find an answer to this seemingly simple question. With a closer look, the questions get even deeper: What should the model history graduate look like? To what extent should school history reproduce the Czech national story? How do you cultivate democratic values, how do you devote more attention to minorities, how do you prevent the pathological phenomena in society? What position does history occupy in contemporary society? And so on …

In the “Why and How Do You Teach History” section, we would like to pose these questions, offer recommendations and pedagogical material for discussion, and create a platform where teachers who deal with similar issues can find support. At the core of our methodological thinking are comprehensive methodological books focused on the the use of audiovisual media (History in Film) and project-based instruction in history (Memory and Project-based Instruction), which you can download here.



Sharing and Discussion

Discussion, exchange of experiences, and opinions. The opportunity to share pedagogical materials and suggestions.

This section of the website should serve for reflection not only on the material on the website, but also on other themes that are connected with the teaching of modern history.



Contemporary History Online

A database of audiovisual material and sources, and complete instructional applications for modern history.

Contemporary History Online is the content core of the website. Here, we present you with comprehensive materials that can be used almost immediately in your instruction. We’ve adapted the videos, photographs, documents, and other sources primarily for humanities teachers and, as the case may be, for their students. Still, we believe that others interested in modern history will also find an inspiring perspective here.

Contact Information

  • Address: Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Siwiecova 2, 130 00 Praha 3 (Building currently out of commission for work and delivery while it undergoes renovation)
  • Temporary delivery address: Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Na Struze 3, 110 00 Praha 1
  • Department of Education address: Office Park Hadovka, Evropská 2588/33C, 160 00 Praha, Dejvice
  • Data box ID: dbzaa4r
  • General e-mail address: podatelna@ustrcr.cz
  • E-mail address for sending invoices in PDF form: podatelna@ustrcr.cz
  • IČO: 75112779
  • DIČ: CZ75112779