Reckoning With The Past

Reckoning With The Past : Teaching History in Northern Ireland

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


This book explores how history teaching can support conflict reduction in deeply divided societies. Using Northern Ireland as its case study, the work contributes to how people think about the identity-based conflict that surrounds them and involves them. It also acts as a manual for those who wish to undertake projects to change attitudes about history in post-conflict more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.1 x 25.4mm | 544.32g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739107984
  • 9780739107980

Review quote

Margaret Smith is not stranger to Northern Ireland. Her field trips over many years bring a depth of insight and sensitivity to the controversies of history teaching in a divided society. Smith argues that partisan, cosmopolitan, and neo-pluralist approaches to history teaching fall short of the deeper engagement that is necessary as part of post-conflict peace building. She argues that a more active interculturalism will be required and her thesis is mirrored by the lack of progress in current political negotiations. Smith's book is a well-structured argument that the teaching of history in Northern Ireland can be part of the problem as well as part of the solution and her analysis has implications for the role of history teaching in other international conflicts. -- Alan Smith, University of Ulster How do you teach history in a society where it provides the very stuff of political conflict and violence? Margaret Smith cogently examines controversy and commitment in the teaching of history in Northern Ireland, and dissects the various "wisdoms" that have been brought to bear on the problem. She challenges schools, teachers, and students to engage with contentious issues, the interdependence of past and present, and the emotional resonances of the past. This is not just a prescription for Northern Ireland for, as she rightly argues, the challenge for history teaching lies "at the frontier of discovery in places of diversity, right now." -- Anthony Gallagher, Queen's University Belfast Margaret Smith has written a systematic and comprehensive book that captures the complex issues embedded in teaching history in situations of intractable conflict. Her insightful analysis of Northern Ireland as a case-in-point is a rich source of data for those who aspire to understand the relationship between the teaching of history, peace making, and reconciliation. -- Hugh O'Doherty, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University In a society riven by centuries of conflict whose impacts persist into the present, is it possible to educate young citizens "preoccupied with their own outlook to the place where they can include the outlook of the other in their worldview?" Margaret E. Smith explores this issue in a detailed, realistic, and hopeful survey of how educators in Northern Ireland have wrestled with it for many years. If any place in the world is a test case of the possible "yes" to the question, it is Northern Ireland. If historians and history teachers there can so answer, they will, as Smith says, have an "exportable commodity." Educators in the Balkans, Rwanda, and Camboida need this book, but so do Europeans and we Americans. -- Donald W. Shriver Jr., Union Theological Seminary, New York Smith offers an interesting, highly detailed case study of history teaching in conflict-ridden Northern Ireland, providing ample theoretical, historiographical, and pedagogical context for understanding the evolutionary process of curriculum reform. Historians, history teachers, and teacher educators will profit from her insights into the promises and problems of teaching for peace...Recommended. CHOICE Margaret Smith offers a comprehensive treatment of the important question of the role of education in peacebuilding link in general questions about history teaching to the specific case of Northern Ireland. What her analysis shows so well is that first, history education often reflects and reproduces differences and, second, that implementing change is not as simple as writing a new curriculum or teacher training. There are social institutions and long-term practices that make the institutionalization of change more difficult than is often understood. Despite the political complexity of the task, Smith makes it clear that the serious effort to change history teaching in Northern Ireland has been successful in important was that have implications for peacebuilding in other societies that are torn by identity conflicts. -- Marc Howard Ross, Bryn Mawr Collegeshow more

About Margaret Eastman Smith

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

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface: Intervening in the Cycle of Conflict Part 2 The Broader Perspective Chapter 3 Nationalism and History Teaching Chapter 4 The Tenacious Hold of Historical Memory Part 5 Northern Ireland Chapter 6 A Brief History of the Northern Ireland Conflict Chapter 7 Narratives, Explanations, and Intervention Strategies Chapter 8 Education in Ireland and Northern Ireland: 1537-1972 Chapter 9 The Education System Responds to the Troubles Part 10 Partisan Prescriptions Chapter 11 Domination and Empowerment Part 12 Cosmopolitan Prescriptions Chapter 13 History as Process Chapter 14 The Common History Curriculum and its Discontents Chapter 15 Fragmenting Rigid Identifications Chapter 16 Education for Citizenship Part 17 Neo-Pluralist Prescriptions Chapter 18 Parity of Esteem Chapter 19 Frontier of Discoveryshow more