Implementation of “Etruscan Religiosity” (SOI-GR-404)

Author: Tassiou Eleni, Teacher in Upper Secondary Education

School/Organization: Lyceum of Skoutari, Serres

Introducing Europeana

Getting my inspiration and initial idea from a question that ‘popped-up’ in the classroom while we were dealing with the topic of the establishment of Rome and its first inhabitants, I searched the Teaching with Europeana platform for a Learning Scenario that could add to the information of the History book, so I discovered the “Etruscan Religiosity”(EN-CUR-692). The LS was implemented by Cristiana Pivetta, on 15-16 years-old students, who researched on the Etruscan civilization and the outcome of their research was to create a 3D model of an Etruscan temple. Given the fact that my students are really interested in History, and the will to raise awareness on historical themes in general, I introduced the idea of dealing with research on the Etruscans as well, with the use of tablets, laptops or mobiles in a face-to-face classroom environment, on a project-based learning technique. Their response was immediate and positive, and the group dynamic overwhelming. So they spent two school-hours surfing and additional websites of course, and in groups spotted the cities and areas the Etruscans had lived or had passed and left their civilization, on two maps: the Greek and the Italian. Finally, the groups compared their findings, shared information and managed to have a more complete knowledge of the Etruscan people. As feedback, the students completed a short questionnaire on their experience with the project. All of them agreed that this method of cooperative learning is more effective than learning long texts that are included in the Curriculum concerning History for class A’. 

Meeting the Etruscans

The theme of the Etruscan people came up in the History lesson. While learning about the establishment of Rome, the Etruscans were mentioned, but not referred to in depth. So, with my 15-16 years-old students of the first class of Lyceum, we decided to work in an innovative way in order to get them involved in the study of History. There was a class of 13 students who took part in this short, face-to-face project, they did not have any previous familiarity with the digital heritage context, so it was necessary for me to introduce them to it. The two school-hours we spent working on the topic of Etruscan civilization and the existence of a mystery concerning their origin, intrigued the students, and made it easier for them to get enthusiastically involved.

Stages of implementation

The total time of the implementation was 80’. First, I introduced the Europeana platform to the students and connected the LS to the History Curriculum of the class, and their previous historical knowledge. Then, three groups were created which used 2 tablets and 1 laptop. Each Group explored the platform along with the LS, separately, for about 10’. Later on, the groups surfed the web for more information, either on their own or following the websites I proposed, and that lasted almost 10’-15’, taking useful notes . In the meantime, I handed out copies of two maps, the Greek and the Italian one to each group, and advised them to use different coloured pens to mark the sites on the maps. Finally, the students presented their findings to the whole class, comparing and discussing, for about 10’.

‘The students surf the Europeana in groups’


Since it was the first time we dealt with such an implementation, I asked the students to answer a short questionnaire I had developed, to check their satisfaction, their willingness to implement such projects in the future and to get their comments on the process. On the whole the students found this process of learning more interesting and self satisfying than the usual learning process for their level of education and according to the Curriculum.

Learning through research

The main outcome achieved is the rise of students’ motivation to follow the queries they have in class, regardless of the prioritization our Educational System shows towards exams. Exam-oriented learning is sometimes non-productive, so students seem to enjoy processes that let them get differently involved in learning. The LS was an inspirational starting point for them to search for more specific information about the Etruscans. The use of a map to handle the details they found, made them more creative and definite about their knowledge. Group work and effective communication within the group is always a gain for students at this level, since they are introduced with practices they will have to face in the future after graduating. Finally, considering the feedback the students gave minutes after the completion of the implementation, the vast majority would support such processes in the future and believe they progressed in their knowledge.

‘The students complete the maps in the classroom’

Teacher’s outcome

The preparation of the implementation made me realize that teaching in less traditional ways can be totally effective, whereas the actual process reminded me of my role as a facilitator in the classroom. The use of the Europeana platform opened new horizons for my personal development as an educator. Additionally, the use of digital heritage in learning could be an asset in my teaching prospects. The resources found in the platform could easily be used in any subject in a face-to-face classroom. The LS I implemented gave me an insight on what an inspired teacher can offer to the students. It all ends up to the educator: resources are there for everyone to explore and use; the teacher’s initiatives and imagination can make wonders.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Etruscan Religiosity created by Cristiana Pivetta

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CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Underi ja Tuglase Kirjanduskeskus.

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