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ERIC Number: EJ1160001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1474-8479
"I Was Born in the Reign …": Historical Orientation in Ugandan Students' National Narratives
Holmberg, Ulrik
London Review of Education, v15 n2 p212-226 Jul 2017
In 2012, Uganda celebrated 50 years as an independent state following more than half a century under colonial rule. Since independence, Uganda has experienced a period of political turmoil and civil war within its constructed colonial borders. Given these historical experiences, what do students find important about their nation's history and what history do they relate to when asked to explain their contemporary society and envisage possible futures? This article argues that Ugandan students' historical orientation is informed by and dependent on these students' local contexts. Furthermore, those students adopting a retrospective approach to history, compared with those applying a prospective approach, made more sophisticated judgements about the past. The study on which this article is based explores 219 narratives written by 73 Ugandan upper secondary students. The narratives were elicited through written responses to three assignments and were designed to capture different approaches to history, specifically "prospective" and "retrospective" approaches. Participants originated from two distinct regions: central and northern Uganda. The empirical results show how different approaches to history influence the students' narratives. For instance, value judgements about past developments were more common among students applying a retrospective approach. Students from northern Uganda were generally more inclined to tell a story of decline.
UCL IOE Press. UCL Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, UK. Tel: +44-20-7911-5565; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Uganda
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A