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An exploration of sensitive issues in history teaching at secondary school level in England and Northern Ireland, 1991-2001

Conway, Mary Margaret Kathleen (2010) An exploration of sensitive issues in history teaching at secondary school level in England and Northern Ireland, 1991-2001. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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My thesis explores the teaching of sensitive issues in history at secondary school level in Mid-Ulster in Northern Ireland and Oxford in England between 1991 and 2001. The research is intended to compare the responses of teachers and students, over time and place, to emotionally-charged topics. Questions are asked about the nature of sensitivity and the impact of factors external to the classroom on inter-personal relations during history lessons. Consideration is given to the possible connections between political change and increased sensitivity in the classroom. The teachers' and students' preconceptions, their opinion of the role of history and the stated teaching strategies are compared. There is a literature review of the theory and purpose of history teaching as well as on curriculum development and related disciplines. Although the conceptual framework is primarily anchored in the study of history, it draws on insights from a range of other subject areas. The dominant stance taken is that of a reflective history teacher: questions asked and interpretations of evidence are overtly guided by personal experience. Data is also drawn from a wide range of documents, surveys and semistructured interviews. This combination of teacher self—reflection, archival material and empirical fieldwork, while essentially qualitative, is also underpinned by quantitative analysis of questionnaires distributed to students in both Northern Ireland and Oxford in the years 1991, 1996 and 2001. The findings indicate the following: the importance of formal history lessons; a growing awareness of sensitive issues in the classroom; an apparent discrepancy between some of the teachers' and students' views; and the way regional variations are becoming less marked over time.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education, 2010.
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Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:51
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2015 12:17
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