Oral History and Understanding a Troubled Past

Alan McCully, Darren Scott, Donal O'Hagan, Sean Pettis

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    This paper argues for the role that oral history might play in helping young people better understand the legacy of the recent past in Northern Ireland. The latter is a society that is emerging from nearly forty years of conflict. First, previous more benign uses of oral history in schools are described. Next, the challenges posed to civil society in general, and schools in particular, when trying to come to terms with the violent recent past are discussed. It is argued that the characteristics of oral history are investigative and that storytelling has the potential to foster empathetic understanding for the other. Finally, a model for intervention is presented, a recent practical application evaluated and suggestions made as to how the work might be taken forward
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-99
    JournalMuseumEdu 2
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

    Bibliographical note

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    • Oral History Conflict Legacy


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