Bridging Ages Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, 3-5 June 2011

Using Time Travel to Explore Turning Points in HistoryThe aim of the conference was to explore how to deal with turning points in history in today’s society. What educational methods are useful in understanding and learning from turning points in the past? How should the past be told and whose stories and perspectives are important? We listened to examples from all over the world how local historic sites and events can be used to explore turning points and how the museums, schools, universities, municipalities and community organizations can contribute. During the three days the participants were able to choose from 17 presentations. The presentationsand discussions were supplemented with study visits to Estonian History Museum, Kiek in de Kök tower and Bastion Passages. On June 6 a study trip was organized to Harju and Viru counties in Northern Estonia, where Palmse Manor, Rakvere Castle and Oandu Nature Center were visited.  Time Travel to 1986 at Tallinn School No 8, Estonian SSR The second half of 1980s and the beginning of the 1990's was the time of major changes in Eastern Europe. The Time Travel took us back to the year 1986- the time when the first signs of these changes could be noticed in Estonian society. With this Time Travelwe wanted the participants to learn about Estonian recent history and to experience what the society waslike in 1980s and in what way could future changes be noticed in a everyday life. A school in Tallinn was chosen for the Time Travel mostly because it connects to everybody and thus gives a great opportunity for comparison. The Time Travel gave the participants a chance to experience both positive and negative sides of the society, but without creating serious conflict situations. The scenario focused on a day at school. The roles of the students were played by students from two local schools. All the other participants played local teachers, other staff and foreign visitors,who were able to take part in the lessons. All together about 120 people participated in the Time Travel.This was a very useful experience for the Tallinn City Museum and we learned a lot. It was the first time we organized a Time Travel for so many people. It was also interesting to explore the possibilities of making a Time Travel to a recent time. Read the Time Travel scenario here »