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History, Identity and the School Curriculum in Northern Ireland: An Empirical Study of Secondary Students’ Ideas and Perspectives

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Barton , K.C. and McCully, A.W. (2005) History, Identity and the School Curriculum in Northern Ireland: An Empirical Study of Secondary Students’ Ideas and Perspectives. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 37 (1). pp. 85-116. [Journal article]

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URL: http://pdfserve.informaworld.com/98529_731225290_714029596.pdf

Abstract

This study reports results of an empirical investigation of secondary students’ conceptions of history and identity in Northern Ireland. Interviews with 253 students from a variety of backgrounds indicate that they initially identify with a wide range of historical themes, but that these identifications narrow as they study the required national curriculum during the first three years of secondary school. Often, they draw selectively from the formal curriculum in order to support their developing identification with the history of their own political/religious communities. This process is most apparent among boys, at predominantly Protestant schools, and in schools located in areas of conflict. These findings suggest that in order to address history’s role in ongoing community conflict, educators may need to challenge more directly the beliefs and assumptions held by students of varied backgrounds, as well as to provide a clearer alternative to the partisan histories encountered elsewhere.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:History Teaching Identity Formal / Informal Learning Northern Ireland Education and Conflict Divided Societies
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Education
ID Code:6255
Deposited By:Dr Alan McCully
Deposited On:13 Jan 2010 15:53
Last Modified:15 Jun 2011 10:44

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