Reckoning with the Past: Teaching History in Northern Ireland

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Lexington Books, 2005 - Education - 259 pages
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With Northern Ireland as her focal point, Margaret E. Smith examines how group narratives are used in the field of history education to address both future conflict prevention and post-conflict rebuilding. Smith explores how divided societies can use educational textbook reform to reconcile a narrative that treats shared group histories as mutually exclusive. Northern Ireland is an ideal case study, in part, because they have been working on revising history teaching in schools, museums, and local history societies since the 1970s. Learning from this process, Smith encourages us to acknowledge that societal change does not occur over night Smith proposes a stage theory of incremental change and a vision for building educational reform directly into brokered peace treaties. This synthetic approach recognizes how difficult it can be to work with groups that feel threatened by difference but also underscores the importance of finding practical ways to move two conflicted groups to a place where their mentalities can be intertwined into a joint story."
 

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Contents

Nationalism and History Teaching
3
The Tenacious Hold of Historical Memory
13
A Brief History of the Northern Ireland Conflict
41
Narratives Explanations and Visions for the Future
59
Education in Ireland and Northern Ireland 15371972
77
The Education System Responds to the Troubles
89
Domination and Empowerment
107
History as Process
125
Fragmenting Rigid Identifications
157
Education for Citizenship
171
Parity of Esteem
183
Frontier of Discovery
197
Notes
205
Bibliography
233
Index
251
About the Author
259

The Common History Curriculum and Its Discontents
143

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About the author (2005)

Margaret Eastman Smith is Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University.

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