Schools, Students, and Community History in Northern Ireland

Alan McCully, Keith C Barton

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Our work in Northern Ireland has been motivated by the need to understand the impact of school curricula on young people’s ideas. Community division there is justified by differing historical interpretations, but schools aim to provide a balanced and evidence based approach to historical inquiry, rather than a consensual national narrative. But how far does this influence students’ ideas, particularly in relation to the narratives they encounter outside school? Despite methodological challenges, our research provided a hopeful view of students’ willingness and ability to move beyond partisan views of the past. Other critical issues remain unanswered, such as the role of emotions in learning conflicted history, the impact of specific instructional techniques, and the motivation for history teachers to take risks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationContemplating Historical Consciousness: Notes from the Field
    EditorsAnna Clark, Carla Peck
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherBerghahn Books
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78533-930-1
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78533-929-5 , 978-1-78920-837-5
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018

    Publication series

    NameMaking Sense of History: Studies in Historical Cultures

    Bibliographical note

    Alan W. McCully is a Senior Lecturer in Education (History and Citizenship) at Ulster University. During forty years as a teacher, teacher educator,
    and researcher spanning the period of conflict and post-conflict transformation in Northern Ireland, he has engaged with interventions in the fields of
    history and social studies seeking to contribute to better community relations
    in the province. Recently, he worked with the Consortium for Education
    and Peacebuilding (Ulster, Sussex, and Amsterdam) on a four-country study
    (Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa, and Uganda) to strengthen educational
    policy and practice which promote sustainable peace.

    Keith C. Barton is Associate Dean of Teacher Education, Professor of
    Curriculum & Instruction, and Adjunct Professor of History at Indiana University. He teaches history and social studies teachers and educational researchers, and he has conducted research on the teaching and learning of
    history in the United States, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, and Singapore. He is co-author, with Linda S. Levstik, of Doing History: Investigating
    with Children in Elementary and Middle Schools; Teaching History for the Common
    Good; and Researching History Education: Theory, Method, and Context; and he
    is also the editor of Research Methods in Social Studies Education: Contemporary
    Issues and Perspectives.


    • Northern Ireland
    • conflict
    • pedagogy
    • divided societies
    • curriculum
    • students


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