Based on a qualitative study of teachers, teacher educators and educational policy makers, this paper examines how political history is framed within national history curricula at primary level and practised within classrooms in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Within the ROI, educational policy and practice appears underpinned by belief in children’s capacities to engage with complex ideas, against a relatively benign view of political history and within a tradition of teaching political history at primary level. In NI, political history is perceived primarily as contested and, despite challenge from teachers, policy level concerns cite the complexity of political history as necessitating the postponement of issues until second-level. The paper highlights the commitment of curriculum policy makers and educators, north and south, to further progressive history education and argues for curriculum, teacher education and ongoing consideration of children’s capacities to support these endeavours.
|Journal||Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education|
|Early online date||12 Jun 2020|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 12 Jun 2020|
- History education
- contested history
- political history