Teaching and Learning the Difficult Past : Comparative Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Teaching and Learning the Difficult Past
Comparative Perspectives

ISBN 9780367582678
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
316 Pages

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Book Description

Building upon the theoretical foundations for the teaching and learning of difficult histories in social studies classrooms, this edited collection offers diverse perspectives on school practices, curriculum development, and experiences of teaching about traumatic events. Considering the relationship between memory, history, and education, this volume advances the discussion of classroom-based practices for teaching and learning difficult histories and investigates the role that history education plays in creating and sustaining national and collective identities.

Table of Contents


Simone Schweber


Magdalena H. Gross and Luke Terra

Part I Theorizing the teaching and learning of difficult histories

  1. Teaching difficult histories: The need for a dynamic research tradition

  2. Keith Barton

  3. Contextual Gatekeeping: Teacher decision-making in multiple and overlapping milieus

  4. Thomas Misco

  5. Sublime Understanding: Cultivating the Emotional Past

Cam Scribner

Part II Teaching difficult histories

4. An Inquiry-Based Curriculum Design for Difficult History

Bradley Fogo and Joel Breakstone

  1. Ethical Judgments about the Difficult Past: Observations from the Classroom

Lindsay Gibson

  1. When Past and Present Collide: Dilemmas in Teaching the History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  2. Sivan Zakai

  3. Warts, Polyps, Blisters and All? Problems in Learning to Teach a Provocative Past in a Troubling Way

  4. Bruce VanSledright and Sebastian Burkholdt

  5. Güeras, Indigenas, y Negros: A Framework for Teaching Mexican American Racial/Ethnic Histories

  6. Maribel Santiago

  7. Betrayal, Conversion, and Complicity in the Middle East Classroom

  8. Taymiya R. Zaman

    Part III Learning difficult histories

  9. Soft or Hard Biculturalism and Beyond: How New Zealand Adolescents Construct Contemporary Significance of the Nation’s Founding Document

  10. Terrie Epstein and Michael Harcourt

  11. History Education, National Identity, and the Road to Brexit

  12. Eleni Karayianni and Stuart Foster

  13. "I need to hear a good ending":How students cope with historical violence.

  14. Jeremy Jimenez

  15. The Myth of "Black Confederates": Beliefs of Students and Implications for History Educators

  16. Gabriel A. Reich and Amy Corning

  17. "We’ve Been Screwed": French Québecers and Their Past

  18. Jocelyn Létourneau

  19. Student Motivation to Confront Difficult Local History

  20. Rob Lucas

  21. Learning History Through Culture: The Krakow Jewish Festival

  22. Ari Y. Kelman

  23. "Still Racist, Just Less Outward About It:" Secondary Students Narrate Connections Between Slavery and Racism

  24. Justine Lee

  25. Sweetening the Past: Selling Heritage at Knott’s Berry Farm

Harper Keenan


Sam Wineburg



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Magdalena H. Gross is a Senior Research Associate at the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET) at Stanford University, USA.

Luke Terra is Director of Community Engaged Learning and Research at Stanford University, USA.