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Historical Culture and Peace Education: Some Issues for History Teaching as a Means of Conflict Resolution
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (History and Education)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4500-5502
2015 (English)In: Contesting and Constructing International Perspectives on Global Education / [ed] Ruth Reynolds, Deborah Bradbery, Joanna Brown, Kay Carroll, Debra Donnelly, Kate Ferguson-Patrick & Suzanne Macqueen, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2015, 1, 161-172 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When considering the peace-building potential of history education, it is important to remember that the interpretation of history fills different needs for different cultural and social groups. This means that in a conflict – and all societies have conflicts between groups built into them – the different interpretations of historical events play a very important role in the group-making process. When discussing how history education should be practiced in order to promote peace, one must consider the cultural aspects of history as a sense-making subject.

Promoting a global perspective might be one way to generate global awareness, but history will still mean different things for different people. History education can sustain or strengthen division, but without a societal conflict to build upon it would be almost impossible to use history to create a divide. Using the same logic, history cannot create peace in a society where groups of people feel diminished or oppressed nor can it create peace between nations if the nations in question have not already established some sort of peaceful relations. Culture and history are dialectically interrelated. Hence, history cannot create war or peace, it can only provide extra fuel for war or peace.

What does this mean for global education and for history education as a tool for peace and conflict resolution? This chapter discusses this question by utilizing the concept of historical culture and by looking at debates on history education and post-conflict resolution – mainly in Scandinavia – in recent years. The main point is that history education as a tool for peace is an education that provides insights into how history is culturally embedded and is an education that provides an atmosphere where different narratives – and different interpretations of the same narrative – are not only tolerated, but where the friction between different narratives is nurtured and valued.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2015, 1. 161-172 p.
Keyword [en]
Historcal Culture, History Education, Scandinavia, Conflict, Peace Education
National Category
History Educational Sciences
Research subject
history of education; Peace and Conflict Research; didactics of history
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94765ISBN: 978-94-6209-978-6ISBN: 978-94-6209-988-3ISBN: 978-94-6209-989-0OAI: diva2:784436
Available from: 2015-01-29 Created: 2014-10-16 Last updated: 2015-02-23Bibliographically approved

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Åström Elmersjö, Henrik
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