Teaching History and Educating for Citizenship: Allies or ‘Uneasy Bedfellows’ in a Post-Conflict Context?

Alan McCully

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

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    9 Downloads (Pure)


    The chapter explores Slater’s distinction between the intrinsic and extrinsic aims of history teaching. It examines the tensions between history's intrinsic value as a discrete academic discipline within the school curriculum and extrinsic purposes increasingly ascribed to it that it should play a central role in bringing about social change in post-conflict situations. The chapter draws on existing research to identify working principles for the contribution history teaching might make in post conflict situations. The intrinsic / extrinsic tension is then discussed in the curriculum context of history's relationship with citizenship education. Finally, it is critiqued through the aims, resources and practice of four recent initiatives introduced into Northern Irish history teaching. The paper concludes by re-visiting the key principles and raising questions for debate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTeaching and Learning Difficult Histories in International Contexts: A Critical Sociocultural Approach
    EditorsTerrie Epstein, Carla Peck
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)9781138702479
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2017

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Research in International and Comparative Education

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: A Decade of Anniversaries (2014) http://creativecentenaries.org/resource/decade-anniversaries-schools-resource. Accessed 3 March 2016.
    Arthur J., Davies, A., Wrenn A., Haydn T. & Kerr D. (2001). Citizenship through Secondary History, London: Routledge-Falmer.
    Bell J., Hansson U. & McCaffrey N. (2010). The Troubles aren’t History Yet, Belfast: Community Relations Council.
    Bush, K.D. & Saltarelli, D. (2000). The Two Faces of Education in Ethnic Conflict, United Nations Children’s Fund, Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/insight4.pdf
    Goldberg T. (2013). “It's in My Veins”: Identity and Disciplinary Practice in Students' Discussions of a Historical Issue, Theory & Research in Social Education 41(1), 33-64.
    Barton K.C. and Levstik L.S. (2004).Teaching History for the Common Good, London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    Barton, K. C. and McCully, A. W (2005). History, Identity and the School History Curriculum in Northern Ireland: An Empirical Study of Secondary Students’Ideas and Perspectives, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 37 (1), 85-116.
    Barton K.C. and McCully A.W. (2010). “You can form your own point of view”: Internally persuasive discourse in Northern Ireland Students’ encounters with History, Teachers’ College Record, Vol. 112 (1), 142-181
    Barton K.C. and McCully A.W. (2012). Trying to “see things differently”: Northern Ireland Students’ Struggle to Understand Alternative Historical Perspectives. Theory and Research in Social Education, 40 (4), 371-471.
    Cole, E. A. (2007). Introduction: Reconciliation and history. In E. A. Cole (Ed.), Teaching the violent past: History education and reconciliation, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1–28.
    Conway M. (2003). Identifying the Past: An exploration of Teaching and Learning Sensitive issues in History at Secondary School Level, Educate, 4 (2), www.educatejournal.org/ Accessed 20 June, 2015
    Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (2007). History Curriculum Key Stage 3, http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/docs/key_stage_3/areas_of_learning/statutory_requirements/ks3_history.pdf Accessed 3 March, 2016
    Counsell C. (2002). Editorial, Teaching History 106, 2
    Darby J. & MacGinty R. (2003). Coming out of Violence: a Comparative Study of Peace Processes. In O.Hargie and D. Dickson (Eds.) Researching the Troubles: Social Science Perspectives on the Northern Ireland Conflict, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing.
    Davies L. (2004). Education and Conflict: Complexity and Chaos, London: Routledge.
    Eidelman T.,Verbytska P. & Even-Zohar J. (2016). Russia and Ukraine: EUROCLIO and Perspectives of Professional History Educators on Societies in Transition. In R. Guyver (ed.) Teaching History and the Changing nation State: Transnational and Intranational Perspectives, London: Bloomsbury
    Education and Training Inspectorate (2013). Facing History and Ourselves – the Corrymeela Project: Second Interim Evaluation, Bangor, ETI/ DENI
    Facing History and Ourselves (2015) https://www.facinghistory.org/
    Facing our History Shaping the Future (FHSTF) (2015). http://www.fohstf.co.uk/#/the-approach/4550813929
    Gallagher A. (2004). Education in Divided Societies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Gannon M. (2014). Teaching Divided Histories: Teachers’ Experiences of using Digital Media in Teaching about Recent Northern Ireland History, Internal paper, Londonderry: TDH
    Harris R. (2011). Citizenship and history: Uncomfortable bedfellows. in I. Davies (ed.), Debates in History Teaching, London: Routledge, 186-196.
    International Fund for Ireland (2013) Facing our History, Shaping the Future: Final Project Report, Bangor, Department of Education.
    Kitson, A. (2007). History Education and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland, E.A. Cole (Ed.) Teaching the Violent Past: History Education and Reconciliation, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
    Lee P. & Shemilt D. (2007). New Alchemy or Fatal Attraction?: History and Citizenship, Teaching History 129, 14-19.
    McCully A. (2010). History Teaching, ‘Truth Recovery’ and Reconciliation. In C. Mitchell, T. Strong-Wilson, K. Pithouse and L. Allnutt (Eds.) Memory and Pedagogy, New York, Routledge, 171-172.
    McCully A. (2012). History teaching, conflict and the legacy of the past, Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 7 (2), pp.145-159.
    McCully A. & Montgomery A. (2009). Knowledge, skills and dispositions: educating history teachers in a divided society, International Journal of Historical learning, Teaching and Research, Vol.8, No.2, pp.92-105 http://www.history.org.uk/resources/secondary_resource_2593_8.html
    McCully A., Scott D., O’Hagan D. & Pettis S. (2015) Oral History and Understanding a Troubled Past, MuseumEdu2, Museum Education and Oral History
    Minow M. (1998). Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence, Boston: Beacon Press.
    Phillips, R., Goalen, P., McCully, A. & Wood, S. (1999). History Teaching, Nationhood and a British Identity; Past, Present and Future. Compare, 29 (2)
    Richardson N. & Gallagher T. (Eds.) Education for Diversity and Mutual Understanding. Oxford: Peter Lang.
    Slater, J. (1995). Teaching history in the new Europe. London: Cassell.
    Smith, A. & Vaux, T. (2003). Education, Conflict and International Development (2003) London, Department For International Development. http://www.gsdrc.org/docs/open/sd29.pdf
    Schweber S. (2004). Making Sense of the Holocaust, NY, Teachers’ College Press.
    Nerve Centre (2014). Teaching Divided Histories http://www.nervecentre.org/teachingdividedhistories
    Waldron F. & McCully A. (2016). Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Eroded Certainties and New Possibilities. In R. Guyver (Ed.) Teaching History and the Changing Nation State : Transnational and Intranational Perspectives, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 53-73
    Weldon G. (2016). South Africa and Rwanda: Remembering and Forgetting?’. In R. Guyver (Ed.) Teaching History and the Changing Nation State : Transnational and Intranational Perspectives, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 95-113
    Wertsch J.V. (1998) Mind as Action, New York, Oxford University Press.
    Wrenn A., (1999). Build it in, don’t bolt it on: History’s opportunity to support critical citizenship. Teaching History 96, 6-12.


    • History Education
    • Post Conflict societies
    • Controversial Issues
    • Citizenship
    • Northern Ireland


    Dive into the research topics of 'Teaching History and Educating for Citizenship: Allies or ‘Uneasy Bedfellows’ in a Post-Conflict Context?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this