How should we teach young people about Gallipoli?

A century on, how do we remember Gallipoli? All the people who fought there have died now, and although we can read the diaries and letters, look at the photos and even visit the peninsula, we have lost the direct connection with the Campaign. Today, it means something different to everybody – British, Irish, Australian, Indian, Turkish, French – and to the feelings of every individual. In effect, Gallipoli has a new life of its own in the minds of people alive today. The Gallipoli Centenary Education Project recognises that creativity – such as art, film, drama or music – is one way of getting young people to engage with the stories of Gallipoli, although of course any creative activity has to be founded on real history.

This section presents some approaches to teaching Gallipoli which you might find interesting and thought provoking. We will add more ideas during the project, and as schools develop their own activities you can explore the different approaches in the School Projects section.

 

Drama

Here is a short film showing how one school used drama as the curriculum focus

 

Knowledge and skills

This footage from one of our projects in North Devon shows students improving knowledge and skills while developing their Gallipoli activities:

  • knowledge of the history (local and international) and empathy in understanding what soldiers and their families experienced;
  • skills in historical research, developing ideas through discussion, teamwork, literacy and many more.

 

Does teaching about war lead to militarisation?

How should we teach military history? Is there a danger that we make young people think that war is normal? Australian historian Peter Stanley has strong opinions about how the his government is promoting military history: that’s not education he says, ‘it’s indoctrination, or propaganda’.