Australia

Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
The Palgrave Handbook of Conflict and History Education in the Post-Cold War Era, 2019, pp. 81 - 88
Issue Date:
2019-05-21
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Australian history education has been a topic of significant contest and controversy in recent years, generating heated debate over both content and methodology. Until the late 1980s, this was largely a professional discussion conducted by teachers, curriculum designers and academics, and it focused on questions of delivery: Should history be taught as a discrete discipline or within an integrated approach such as social studies? To what extent should history curricula in Australia be mandated? And how do we stop declining enrolments in the subject? In recent years, however, these professional pedagogical concerns have been increasingly complicated by a public and political debate over the national narrative. School history has been a critical area of these ‘history wars’, generating an often ferocious and polarised discussion over the subject. Consequently, pedagogical questions of how to teach history in schools have been joined by a very public contest over what to teach.
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