Helping students to understand how and why people in the present interpret the past differently is a challenge. It is also vital if we are to develop an understanding of why the meanings we ascribe to the past are not fixed, but rather are subject to our own prejudices or goals. A number of articles in previous editions have explored how students might start to explore the particular interpretations advanced in film, by historians or on the web. But what about exploring the way that particular individuals are both shaped by – and shape – their interpretations of history? Indeed, can we begin to engage students in a process of deconstructing their very owninterpretations? This would be a powerful – and radical – approach in any context, but in Northern Ireland it is doubly so. Alan McCully and Nigel Pilgrim have written previously in Teaching History about the need for students in Northern Ireland to engage more directly with their emotional responses to the past and its links with the present. In this article they introduce us to a fascinating way to help all our students,wherever they live, do exactly that.
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2004|
Bibliographical noteReference text: CCEA (2003) Pathways: proposals for Curriculum and Assessment at
Key Stage 3, Part : Background rationale and Detail, Belfast, Council
for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.
NFER (1999) Real Curriculum reports.
4. McCully A., Pilgrim N., Sutherland A. and McMinn T. (2002) ‘ ‘Don’t worry,
Mr. Trimble. We can handle it.’ Balancing the rational and emotional in the
teaching of contentious topics’, Teaching History 106.
Barton, K.C. & McCully, A.W. (2005) ‘History, Identity and the School
Curriculum in Northern Ireland: An Empirical Study of Secondary
Students’ Ideas and Perspectives’ Journal of Curriculum Studies
- History Teaching
- Educational responses to conflict
- Divided societies