This is how Steve Watters*, senior historian and educator, describes the Shared Histories programme:
"I recently had the opportunity to work with a group of teachers in Auckland and Wellington who are involved in the Shared Histories project. The teachers gathered represented a number of curriculum areas representing the potential for a whole-school approach and also demonstrated a strong emphasis on inquiry based learning. Shared Histories offers a meaningful way to explore the New Zealand experience of war, and in particular the experiences of those from their community but also meets one of the primary objectives of the commemoration which is the strengthening of ties with other participants in the First World War. I was impressed looking at the collaborations already underway between schools here and their French partners. A number have begun preparations for physical exchanges as well as virtual projects with their partner schools. It is important to recognise that our experiences were not unique and by sharing the history of those people whose country New Zealanders were fighting in can only deepen our understanding of the war. Shared Histories will enable the exchange and preservation of stories about New Zealanders’ war experiences at home and abroad. The projects underway will also provide a living legacy of the war’s impacts and on-going significance, ensuring current and future generations are better informed. This is perhaps the greatest strength of Shared Histories project. It is not just focused on the historical context of New Zealand and the First World War thus opening up opportunities to highlight New Zealand’s ongoing commitment to peace, global security and international cooperation."
* Steve Watters is a senior historian and educator in the Ministry for Culture & Heritage (MCH) history group, but shares his time with the WW100 programme office. He has been involved in developing the educational strategy to support the aims of the WW100 programme since its inception in early 2012. (source). During the workshops Steve presented not only a wealth of resources, but how they can be used to invite students in undertaking rich and meaningful historical explorations. Steve shared tools and techniques learners can be led to use to research someone from their community who served in the First World War.