Controversial History Education in Asian Contexts: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Controversial History Education in Asian Contexts

1st Edition

Edited by Mark Baildon, Kah Seng Loh, Ivy Maria Lim, Gül İnanç, Junaidah Jaffar


282 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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This book examines both history textbook controversies AND teaching historical controversy in Asian contexts. The different perspectives provided by the book’s authors offer numerous insights, examples, and approaches for understanding historical controversy to provide a practical gold mine for scholars and practitioners. The book provides case studies of history textbook controversies ranging from treatments of the Nanjing Massacre to a comparative treatment of Japanese occupation in Vietnamese and Singaporean textbooks to the differences in history textbooks published by secular and Hindu nationalist governments in India. It also offers a range of approaches for teaching historical controversy in classrooms. These include Structured Academic Controversy, the use of Japanese manga, teaching controversy through case studies, student facilitated discussion processes, and discipline-based approaches that can be used in history classrooms. The book’s chapters will help educational researchers and curricularists consider new approaches for curriculum design, curriculum study, and classroom research.


"Controversial History Education in Asian Contexts deftly explores the role of controversial histories within and across multiple epistemological paradigms. … Cutting across all cases within this volume is the overarch-ing goal of developing an informed and active citizenry, which is a social education rendering of history and its utility. … [T]his volume collectively offers provocative points of departure as unique contexts grapple with the critical charge of positioning students to explore controversial normative and moral issues in historical and contemporary forms. The inclusion of controversial issues in the curriculum may help improve students’ critical thinking, prepare them to participate fully and effectively in democratic societies, encourage political engagement, and develop a commitment to democratic values." --Thomas Misco, Miami University, USA. Published in TRaNS: Trans -Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, Available on CJO 2015 doi:10.1017/trn.2015.3

Table of Contents

Section 1: Settings 1. Introduction: Controversy, History, and History Education in Asia Loh Kah Seng, Mark Baildon, Ivy Maria Lim, Gül İnanç, and Junaidah Jaffar 2. Teaching Controversial Issues in the Classroom: The Exciting Potential of Disciplinary History Stuart Foster Section 2: Controversies in History Textbooks 3. The Battle Over Memory of the Nation: Whose National History? Helen Ting 4. The Other Side of Silence: Religion and Conflict in Indian Textbooks Deepa Nair 5. How Can We Teach the Old Foe’s Wounds? Analysis of Descriptions of the Japanese Occupation and the Atomic Bombs in Vietnamese and Singaporean Textbooks Eisuke Saito, Theresa Alviar-Martin and Khong Thi Diem Hang 6. Constructing the Nation: Portrayals of National Identity in Singapore’s School Textbook Narratives of the Japanese Occupation Khatera Khamsi and Paul Morris 7. Japanese Textbooks and the Asia-Pacific War: Apportioning Blame Jean-Louis Margolin 8. Representing the War in Manga Karl Ian Cheng Chua 9. Between Remembering and Protecting: Introduction of Cultural Heritage into Singapore’s Primary Social Studies Syllabus 2012 l İnanç Section 3: Teaching Historical Controversy 10. Academic Controversy and Singapore History: Context, Teachers and Subpublics Loh Kah Seng and Junaidah Jaffar 11. Teaching of Historical Controversies using the SAC Approach: A Case of History Teachers in Singapore Ivy Maria Lim 12. A Disciplinary Approach to Teaching Historical Controversy in Singapore’s Schools: The Case of the Internal Security Act Mark Baildon and Suhaimi Afandi 13. A Reflection on University Teaching of the Nanjing Controversy Jason Lim 14. Overcoming the ‘Practicality Ethic’ Denis Mootz 15. Diversity and Controversy in the Facilitated Classroom Sue Goodney Lea and Taiyi Sun

About the Editors

Mark Baildon is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head, Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Loh Kah Seng is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies at Sogang University.

Ivy Maria Lim is an Assistant Professor, Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Gül İnanç is a part-time faculty teaching modern European history at Department of History, National University of Singapore and the School of Art, Design, and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 

Junaidah Jaffar is a Teaching Fellow, Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Asian Education

In Asia, schooling, teaching and learning are undergoing major changes as a consequence of wider economic, social, cultural and political movements. The success of some Asian countries in international education benchmarks has redirected attention to the region. This is counterbalanced by other countries that are struggling to educate their citizens in the midst of political instability, ideological and religious tensions, poverty and natural disasters. In spite of such broad differences across countries in Asia, pioneering and innovative research is being conducted that is of increasing interest to researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and governments worldwide.

The Routledge Critical Studies in Asian Education book series will examine key theoretical and empirical research on the changing institutional and cultural contexts of Asian education. The series aims to establish a strong platform for the critical discussion of educational practices and pedagogies in Asia, and is open to Asian and international researchers with a focus on the region. Interdisciplinary research is welcomed, including education, social sciences, psychology, organisational studies, economics, history, political science, cultural studies, and language and literacy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
HISTORY / Study & Teaching
HISTORY / Asia / Southeast Asia