History Teaching, Peacebuilding and Controversial Issues
Enabling the discussion of difficult histories in the classroom
Teaching Political History at Primary Level - North and South (2013-)
This project investigated divergency and convergency in history education in both jurisdictions, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, in post-partition Ireland. Particularly, it includes a forthcoming empirical study examining why political history has been an accepted area for study at primary level in the south but been eschewed by educators in the north.
- A Question of Identity: Purpose, Policy and Practice in the Teaching of History in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (2013)
- Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Eroded Certainties and New Possibilities (2016)
Remembering the Future, The Decade of Commemorations: a Project for Schools (2012-14)
This work was commissioned by Community Relations Council to facilitate the development of curriculum materials for schools to help young people in Northern Ireland better understand and respond to the centenaries of historical events in the 1912-22 period. The resource is underpinned by a set of principles on teaching controversial and sensitive history which emerged from classroom research and experience in Northern Ireland and other conflict contexts. The work forms part of a CPD programme for history teachers engaged in Shared Education.
The Impact of History Teaching on the Formation of National Identities in Northern Ireland
Funded by the Royal Irish Academy, this investigation focused on the interface between history young people learn in schools and that they encounter in families and communities in Northern Ireland. It examined how young people in Northern Ireland conceptualize their identity in relation to national history, how they respond to the politicized histories they encounter in their communities, the impact curriculum has on young people’s sense of identity, and how this changes during their early secondary education. This project was undertaken in collaboration with Professor Keith Barton, Indiana University.
- History, Identity and the School History Curriculum in Northern Ireland: An Empirical Study of Secondary Students’ Ideas and Perspectives
- “You can form your own point of view”: Internally persuasive discourse in Northern Ireland Students’ encounters with History
- Trying to “see things differently”: Northern Ireland Students’ Struggle to Understand Alternative Historical Perspectives
Teaching History in Societies Emerging From Conflict
Initially, the funding from the Nuffield Foundation supported an international seminar on teaching history in societies emerging from conflict. This seminar brought together researchers and policymakers from 6 countries. Using this seminar as its foundation block, an informal network has been developed and has led to research and development in this field over a period of nearly 15 years. Many collaborative publications have stemmed from this, some of which are listed below.
- Recommendations for the History Teaching of Intergroup Conflicts
- History Teaching to Promote Positive Community Relations in Northern Ireland: Tensions between Pedagogy, Social Psychological Theory and Professional Practice in Two Recent Projects
- History teaching, conflict and the legacy of the past
- What role for history teaching in the transitional justice process in deeply divided societies?
- European Cooperation in Science and Technology - Recommendations for the History Teaching of Intergroup Conflicts