History Education's Response to a Divided Community: the example of Northern Ireland

Alan McCully

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper covers five areas. First, it examines the challenges faced when teaching history in the divided society of Northern Ireland. Second, it traces history teaching’s response through the evolution from a more traditional narrative approach to one characterised by enquiry, evidence handling and multi-perspectivity. Third, it draws on recent research to assess the strengths and limitations of the enquiry approach, particularly with regard to addressing controversial and sensitive issues in history. Fourth, it offers some thoughts on how the recent past can be handled in history lessons.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-106
    JournalStoria e Memoria di Bologna
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2005

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: Barton, K. C. and McCully, A. W (2005) History, Identity and the School History Curriculum in Northern Ireland: An Empirical Study of Secondary Students’Ideas and Perspectives, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Vol.37, No. 1, 85-116.
    Barton, K. & McCully, A. (2010). “You can form your own point of view”: Internally persuasive discourse in Northern Ireland students’ encounters with history, Teachers’ College Record, 112: 1.
    Kitson, A. (2007). History education and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. In E. A. Cole, Teaching the difficult past: Violence, reconciliation and history education, Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield.
    McCully A. (2009) The Contribution of History Teaching to Peace-building,
    Salomon, G. and Cairns, E. (Eds.) Handbook of Peace Education. NY, Psychology Press.
    Minow, M. (1998). Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence. Boston: Beacon Press.
    Murray D. (1985) Worlds Apart: Segregated Schools in Northern Ireland, Belfast, Appletree Press.
    Porat, D. A. (2004). It’s not written here, but this is what happened: Students’ cultural comprehension of textbook narratives on the Israeli-Arab conflict. American Educational Research Journal, 41, 963-996.
    Putnam R.D. (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York, Simon and Schuster
    O’Connor U., Hartop B. and McCully A. (2002) A Review of the Schools Community Relations Programme, Bangor, DE.
    Slater, J. (1995). Teaching History in the New Europe. London: Council of Europe, Cassell.
    UNESCO Centre (2007) Recent Research on Teaching History in Northern Ireland:
    Wertsch J.V. (2002) Voices of Collective Remembering, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.


    • Northern ireland Divided Societies Enquiry History


    Dive into the research topics of 'History Education's Response to a Divided Community: the example of Northern Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this