Contesting the Past, Constructing the Future: History, Identity and Politics in Schools
This paper examines the ways in which the history curriculum in UK schools has been subject to contestation in recent years and considers the implications of the impact of postmodernism — particularly consumption — upon history teaching. It explores the relationship between ‘official history’taught in schools and the ‘unofficial histories’which influence children in the community, in the media and through the heritage industry. It argues that the powerful images gained outside the ‘official’environment have profound implications for the ways in which children are influenced and socialized, which may cause schools to reconceptualize the way history is taught. In particular, it considers the implications of Giroux’s (1992) concept of a ‘order pedagogy’for history teaching.