Building upon the theoretical foundations for the teaching and learning of difficult histories in social studies classrooms, this edited collection offers diverse perspectives on school practices, curriculum development, and experiences of teaching about traumatic events. Considering the relationship between memory, history, and education, this volume advances the discussion of classroom-based practices for teaching and learning difficult histories and investigates the role that history education plays in creating and sustaining national and collective identities.

chapter |8 pages


What Makes Difficult History Difficult?

part I|48 pages

Theorizing the Teaching and Learning of Difficult Histories

chapter 1|15 pages

Teaching Difficult Histories

The Need for a Dynamic Research Tradition

chapter 2|16 pages

Contextual Gatekeeping

Teacher Decision-Making in Multiple and Overlapping Milieus

chapter 3|15 pages

Sublime Understanding

Cultivating the Emotional Past

part II|106 pages

Teaching Difficult History

chapter 5|23 pages

Ethical Judgments About the Difficult Past

Observations From the Classroom

chapter 6|15 pages

When Past and Present Collide

Dilemmas in Teaching the History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

chapter 7|18 pages

Warts, Polyps, Blisters, and All?

Problems in Learning to Teach a Provocative Past in a Troubling Way

chapter 8|12 pages

Güeras, Indígenas y Negros

A Framework for Teaching Mexican American Racial/Ethnic Histories

part III|130 pages

Learning Difficult Histories

chapter 10|17 pages

Soft or Hard Biculturalism and Beyond

How New Zealand Adolescents Construct Contemporary Significance of the Nation’s Founding Document

chapter 12|15 pages

“I Need to Hear a Good Ending”

How Students Cope With Historical Violence

chapter 13|13 pages

The Myth of “Black Confederates”

Beliefs of Students and Implications for History Educators

chapter 14|15 pages

“We’ve Been Screwed”

French Québecers and Their Past

chapter 16|14 pages

Sweetening the Past

Selling Heritage at Knott’s Berry Farm

chapter 17|16 pages

Learning History Through Culture

The Krakow Jewish Festival

chapter 18|3 pages


What’s Difficult About Difficult History?