Implementation of ‘Exploring and questioning philosophical ideas through images’ (SOI-HU-26)

Summary of the implementation

This learning scenario was implemented in the history of art class, with the participation of 11 students, aged between 17 and 18 years, with a duration of 45 minutes. Although the author of the scenario recommends more time for the implementation, in this case, with a special group who has some practice in visual culture the given time was enough. Previously I presented the Europeana portal to the students, we learnt the way of searching on it and talked about the benefits of Europeana project.

SOI-HU-26- students discovering europeana and ethics related images

How has the learning scenario been implemented?

Reflecting on ethics

As a first activity – according to the scenario- I introduced the chosen philosophical term: ethics. We had a conversation about the term, and then the students were divided into 3 research areas: virtue ethics, duty ethics and consequence ethics. I gave them 10 minutes to figure out the possible interpretation range of the areas and to find a keyword for each of the terms. Secondly, we made a common brainstorming about their visions and they shared their keywords to the other groups. The group with the area virtue ethics has chosen the word “openness”, the team with the area of duty ethics has got the word “decision” and the keyword of the third group has been “purity”.


Following the instruction of the scenario, each group started to look for two pictures as illustrations for the keywords from the Europeana portal using their tablets and the computers of the classroom. They were free to search on every platform and use any search term.

That part of the activity was quite inspiring for them considering that they found themselves in a visually very rich and varied virtual space and they had to collaborate effectively.

Usually, like a first search term, they used directly the three keywords but soon they realized that they have to make efforts to find more abstract and less concrete illustrations by using other words as well.
At the end of the activity, each group presented their pictures before the class explaining why they chose that illustration. It was very inspiring to see them as they use the Europeana heritage, just like to promote their abstract ideas. They were able to interpret the concepts in a broader way. So they found very special images, like a picture from Adam and Eve as the visual compliance with the decision or a necklace with a white pigeon-like the symbol of purity.

Research and reflection

The aims of the lesson have been fulfilled, the students have learned how to use Europeana, how to find information. They have improved their teamwork, collaborative work, critical thinking, online research abilities and language competences. Finally, the students enjoyed the lesson and they could give nice feedback to each other.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?

Exploring and questioning philosophical ideas through images created by
François Jourde

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