Unite or Divide? The Challenges of Teaching History in Societies Emerging from Violent Conflict

In the aftermath of violent conflict, some countries suspend the teaching of their recent history in school. Textbooks used before the conflict may no longer be acceptable, and teachers and school administrators may fear that discussion of the controversial past will lead to the renewal of violent conflict.

This event will share lessons learned about teaching history at the secondary school level from USIP-funded grant projects around the world.

  • What challenges are involved in developing secondary school curricula that contribute to peace building?
  • What are the major changes in pedagogy that need to accompany revision of curricula?
  • How do “structural” issues relating to educational financing, language policy, national teaching standards, etc., affect social reconstruction?
  • What methods are most effective in assessing the impact of revised history education programs on secondary school students?


  • Elizabeth Cole Assistant Director, TeachAsia Program Asia Society
  • Tony Gallagher Professor, Queen’s University, Belfast, N. Ireland
  • Charles Ingrao Professor, Purdue University
  • Karen Murphy Director of International Programs Facing History and Ourselves Moderator
  • Judy Barsalou, Vice President, Institute Grant Program, Moderator

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