This study reports results of an empirical investigation of secondary students’ conceptions of history and identity in Northern Ireland. Interviews with 253 students from a variety of backgrounds indicate that they initially identify with a wide range of historical themes, but that these identifications narrow as they study the required national curriculum during the first three years of secondary school. Often, they draw selectively from the formal curriculum in order to support their developing identification with the history of their own political/religious communities. This process is most apparent among boys, at predominantly Protestant schools, and in schools located in areas of conflict. These findings suggest that in order to address history’s role in ongoing community conflict, educators may need to challenge more directly the beliefs and assumptions held by students of varied backgrounds, as well as to provide a clearer alternative to the partisan histories encountered elsewhere.
|Journal||Journal of Curriculum Studies|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2005|
Bibliographical noteReference text: Barton, K. C. (2001a). A sociocultural perspective on children’s understanding of historical change: Comparative findings from Northern Ireland and the United States. American Educational Research Journal, 38, 881-913.
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- History Teaching
- Formal / Informal Learning
- Northern Ireland
- Education and Conflict
- Divided Societies