London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Teaching citizenship through learning about people’s lives in the past

Author(s) Penelope Harnett, Elizabeth Newman  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2005  
Editor A. Ross, Teaching Citizenship  
Language English  
Age group -  
There have always been close links between the study of history and citizenship. This paper raises questions concerning the nature of this relationship and investigates history’s potential for enabling children to understand contemporary issues. Case study material arising from initial primary teacher trainees’ work with primary school children at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol is analysed. This is used to explore the extent to which studying history might provide opportunities for children to investigate controversial and sensitive issues, and the challenges which this presents to initial teacher training trainees. Parallels between the notion of the Empire as an ‘imagined community’ and the development of current European consciousness are raised.

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