TRANSFORMATIVE HISTORY EDUCATION: LEARNING FROM CREATIVE PRACTICES IN CAMBODIA, COLOMBIA AND IRAQ

ACCELERATOR FUND 

This community previously received Initiator Funding for the project: Transformative History Education in Conflict-Affected Contexts

Project period: September 2018 – April 2019 

GW4 community leads 
University of Bath: Lizzi Milligan & Peter Manning 
University of Bristol: Julia Paulson (PI) 
Cardiff University: Kate Moles 
University of Exeter: Catriona Pennell & Kelsey Shanks (now University of Ulster) 

Project overview 
Working with partners in Cambodia, Colombia and Iraq, we explore creative practices that enable young people to learn about the violent past and contribute towards constructing a better future. 

Website: transformativehistoryeducation.wordpress.com

Background 

Our network is focused around the GW4 Grand Challenge Area of social justice and inequality. It also addresses the GCRF challenges of human rights, good governance, and social justice and of equitable access to sustainable development. 

We approach these challenges through a focus on education, which is not just as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) in its own right, but also as necessary for achieving other SDGSInternational agendas also increasingly see education as necessary for building peace and preventing conflict. History education, however, is often identified as a space where these positive promises of education are not fulfilled and is instead often in part responsible for inciting conflict thanks to divisive or exclusionary narratives or by silencing controversial or recent histories. 

Through earlier work helped by a GW4 Initiator grant our network has identified creative alternative approaches to learning about histories of recent conflict, which are important as they enable young people to actively learn about, question, and engage with the recent and violent past, explores its legacies in the present, and develop strategies to challenge conflict and inequality in the present and future. We see these practices as potentially transformative and our accelerator grant works with our partners to better understand the processes and outcomes of this transformative history education and to share them internationally. 

Project summary 

Our accelerator grant enabled us to pilot and amplify innovative approaches with our partners in Cambodia, Colombia and Iraq.  

Over the Accelerator Award the community strengthened and extended partnerships in Cambodia, Colombia and Iraq through visits. These partners were commissioned to complete literature and policy reviews to deepen the community’s understanding of policy landscapes for transformative history education in these countries. The partner organisations then carried out pilot research co-designed during the visits. The results of these pilot studies were discussed at a data validation and analysis workshop in Bristol with all project partners. These findings fed into multiple successful GCRF grant applications for the community to continue their work. 

Community site (GW4 Portal)