Where do new ideas for organised events actually come from? Markus Achatz, head of Education, Profile, Events and Quality, gives us his insight into the creative hub of the Bavarian section of the German YHA state association.
“Developing the image of our youth hostel or new ideas for an organised event is a creative process.” says Markus Achatz at the beginning of the conversation. “A good example is the new concept for the recently renovated culture and youth hostel in Nuremberg. This house was closed for several years, which enabled us to develop completely new concepts.” The defining impulse came from Gerhard Koller, the president of the YHA in Bavaria. He had learned about an exciting media project in Israel, where teenagers actively discussed the assassination of Jitzchak Rabin in short films. From this, the idea of starting a similar project in Nuremberg dealing with the Nazi era in Germany evolved. “That was the beginning! Together with the parties involved on site we came up with a concept for the pedagogic programme.”
Contemporary educational activities
“The idea is to create possibilities for active, self-organised learning that coincides with the pupils interests. In a multimedia room, specially kitted out for this purpose, we show film modules on six screens, that are about the Nuremberg Rally, the Nuremberg Laws and the Nuremberg Trials and invite discussion. The films were specially produced for the youth hostel. In these films, historical recordings were combined with a framework plot, which is played by pupils of a local grammar school. The various topics can by intensified in modules. These modules include visiting the places where these events took place, research tasks and making individual audio statements. “During the programme”, says Markus Achatz. “the pupils and teachers are accompanied and looked after by our pedagogue on site.”
Looked after from the start
“The teachers are very important partners for us when it comes to the educational work. To help them during their planning process for a class trip, we offer widespread services, including our website www.lehrer-lounge.com with tips on how to organise a class trip successfully, checklists, model letters, help with legal questions and our own offers for further training. For this,” Markus Achatz says “we cooperate with the cultural ministry in Bavaria and with the teacher’s academy in Dillingen. The offers have had a positive response, and more are already being developed!”