Navigating World War II Perspectives in RS History Lab Pilot

SAIoneers from SIRS recently participated in the Round Square Virtual Activity - Round Square History Lab Pilot tailored for students aged 14-18, focusing on the compelling topic of World War II. In a pioneering initiative, SIRS students engaged in the inaugural session of the Round Square History Lab, hosted by Kogakuin's Junior & Senior High School in Japan.

The event, held on Thursday, November 16th, at 9 am GMT (2:30 PM IST), united 200 students from 34 schools across 15 countries, fostering a diverse global exchange of perspectives. Countries represented included Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Ecuador, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, and the UK.

The History Lab pilot, a six-session Zoom series, encourages students to share varied viewpoints on international history topics. The first session featured insightful presentations on the impact of World War II, with subsequent sessions scheduled for Nov/Dec 2023 and February 2024.

Hosted by students from Kogakuin, the session commenced with an introduction, followed by the formation of eight groups in separate Zoom Rooms. Participants were tasked with crafting one-slide presentations, each offering a two-minute reflection on how World War II influenced their respective countries, exploring the question: “How did this event impact your country directly and how is it presented in your part of the world?”

The overarching objective of the History Lab is to nurture empathy, emphasizing the multitude of perspectives on historical events. Student feedback underscored the success of this initiative, revealing a shared global perspective on World War II. A unanimous lesson emerged – "there is no winner in any war," reinforcing the importance of avoiding conflict for the establishment of global peace, well-being, and harmony.