History Teaching to Promote Positive Community Relations in Northern Ireland: Tensions between Pedagogy, Social Psychological Theory and Professional Practice in Two recent Projects

Alan McCully, J Reilly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter, the authors, a history teacher, researcher and teacher educator and an education researcher with a social psychology background, consider the role of history teaching in promoting community relations in Northern Ireland, with specific reference to funded projects. The Northern Ireland context for history teaching is briefly outlined followed by an overview of relevant social psychological theory, concepts and research. Educational responses to the conflict and post-conflict situations are explored and especially steps taken to develop the history curriculum to promote community relations. Specifically, the extent to which history teachers may be expected to deliver outcomes beyond their disciplinary remit is examined through two funded history education projects which explicitly aspire to contribute to improved relationships between young people from Unionist and Nationalist backgrounds. We conclude that given professional autonomy, identity and values, teachers of history in Northern Ireland are likely to differ in their implementation of such projects and to value disciplinary outcomes over project aims: as such outcomes in relation to promoting community relations are likely to be less consistent than discipline-related outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory Education and Conflict Transformation: Social Psychological Theories, History Teaching and Reconciliation
EditorsCharis Psaltis, Mario Carretero, Sabina Čehajić-Clancy
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland (ebook)
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-54681-0
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

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  • History Education Social Psychology Northern Ireland Community Relations Pedagogy
  • Controversial Issues


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