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Ukraine and history teaching

  • 07-03-2022 12:08am
    Registered Users Posts: 8 JohnMorris78

    I teach History and English. Am getting a lot of questions from worried and anxious students as I teach about WWII about parallels to Ukraine. Anyone else facing this and any advice on how the avoid creating more anxiety? My students - like all - have had a rough 2 years, don’t want to avoid topics but don’t want to make their concern worse.

    Spent a lot of time immersed in the news myself this weekend so the Monday morning fear is creeping!


  • Registered Users Posts: 266 ✭✭ Adversarial

    Firstly, I'm not a history teacher or a teacher in general but I do have a love for history and had life circumstances been different. Would love to have studied it in college.

    Firstly, I would reassure your students that the chances of a nuclear war breaking out because of the current situation in Ukraine is incredibly unlikely. NATO have fortunately made it clear they will not impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine precisely because they do not want to start a potential full-blown nuclear exchange with Russia.

    Secondly, I would tell the truth about why Russia chose to invade, Ukraine it will be interesting to explain to your students about the North European Plain and how it opens up like a funnel starting in the west of Ukraine.

    If you are allowed to play YouTube videos in your class then I highly recommend this one, although it is 31 minutes long it's very informative about the current situation and gives much needed context. Plus I trust the creator as a reliable source of information.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,389 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manach

    I did history in Uni, including a course on Military history: the following might of interest:

    1 - Red Famine by Applebaum. This provides context on why some Ukrainian Nationists are against Russia due to Soviet times.

    2 - War in 140 Characters by Patrikarakos. How modern war is full specturm, fought as much on social media as on the battlefield. One of the chapters deals with Ukraine.

    3 Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder : An excellent book but rather grim for schoolkids.

    As for nuclear weapons usage, it is unlikely there will be a full scale exchange but the doctrine of tactical nuclear usage was common enough in both NATO and Warsaw pact manuals during the first Cold war.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 JohnMorris78

    Brilliant thanks