ERIC Number: EJ780410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Reference Count: 72
Reading History Curriculum as Postcolonial Text: Towards a Curricular Response to the History Wars in Australia and Beyond
Parkes, Robert J.
Curriculum Inquiry, v37 n4 p383-400 Dec 2007
This article is concerned with theorizing a curricular response to what has become known in Australia as the "history wars" (Macintyre & Clark, 2003). The central debate in the history wars is over the representation of the colonization of Australia. Because History curriculum serves as an apparatus for the social (re)production of national identities, the importance of school history as a battlefield in the "history wars" should not be underestimated (Clark, 2003). This article explores as a case study the emergence of and political backlash against a critical History curriculum in the state of New South Wales, Australia, during the decade prior to the millennium. The case, reflecting similar debates over History curricula in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, provides a useful starting point for reconceptualizing critical approaches to History as curriculum. Reading History curriculum as a postcolonial text, it is argued that what has remained uncontested in the struggle for histories have been the representational practices of "history" itself, and that attending to representation opens new possibilities for school History as critical pedagogic practice.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, History Instruction, Foreign Policy, Politics of Education, Case Studies, Elementary Secondary Education, Political Attitudes, Nationalism, Critical Theory, Conflict, Curriculum Development, Political Socialization, Historical Interpretation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia