Teaching and Learning Difficult Histories in International Contexts : A Critical Sociocultural Approach book cover
1st Edition

Teaching and Learning Difficult Histories in International Contexts
A Critical Sociocultural Approach

ISBN 9781138702479
Published October 24, 2017 by Routledge
278 Pages

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Book Description

Grounded in a critical sociocultural approach, this volume examines issues associated with teaching and learning difficult histories in international contexts. Defined as representations of past violence and oppression, difficult histories are contested and can evoke emotional, often painful, responses in the present. Teaching and learning these histories is contentious yet necessary for increased dialogue within conflict-ridden societies, reconciliation in post-conflict societies, and greater social cohesion in long-standing democratic nations. Focusing on locations and populations across the globe, chapter authors investigate how key themes—including culture, identity, collective memory, emotion, and multi-perspectivity, historical consciousness, distance, and amnesia—inform the teaching and learning of difficult histories.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Terrie Epstein and Carla L. Peck

Section 1 Re-presentations of Difficult Histories

Chapter 1: Sustainable History Lessons for Post-Conflict Society Sirkka Ahonen

Chapter 2: Teaching the War: Reflections on Popular Uses of Difficult Heritage Maria Grever

Chapter 3: "Argue the contrary for the purpose of getting a PhD": Revisionist historians, the

Singapore government and the Operation Coldstore controversy LOH Kah Seng

Chapter 4: The State and the Volving of Teaching about Apartheid in School History in South Africa, Circa 1994-2016 Johan Wasserman

Commentary: Peter Seixas

Section 2 Teaching and Learning Indigenous Histories

Chapter 5: Teaching and Learning difficult histories: Australia Anna Clark

Chapter 6: Pedagogies of Forgetting: Colonial Encounters and Nationhood at New Zealand’s National Museum Joanna Kidman

Chapter 7: ‘People are still grieving’: Māori and non-Māori adolescent’s perceptions of the Treaty of Waitangi Mark Sheehan, Terrie Epstein, Michael Harcourt

Chapter 8: "That’s Not My History": The Reconceptualization of Canadian History Education in Nova Scotia Schools Jennifer Tinkham

Commentary: Sirkka Ahonen

Section 3 Teachers and Teaching Difficult Histories

Chapter 9: "On whose side are you?": Difficult histories in the Israeli context Tsafrir Goldberg

Chapter 10: Teaching History and Educating for Citizenship: Allies or ‘uneasy bedfellows’ in a post-conflict context? Alan McCully

Chapter 11: Teacher Understandings of Political Violence Represented in National Histories: The Trail of Tears Narrative Alan Stoskopf and Angela Bermudez

Chapter 12: Teacher Resistance Towards Difficult Histories: The Centrality of Affect in Disrupting Teacher Learning Michalinos Zembylas


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Terrie Epstein is Professor of Education at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA.

Carla L. Peck is Associate Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta, Canada.