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Historical Feeling: Exploring the Decolonisation of History Education

Emotion is part of history, in the way we live, and experience it. However in the school subject this is often overlooked in favour of an “objective” approach. In recent decades literature on history education has focused on a disciplinary approach, centered around historical thinking. (Seixas, 2017; Wineburg, 2001). Historical thinking relies on a critical, but objective and removed approach to historical narrative and sources. This research intends to explore historical feeling: the emotions that are entangled in history, how this gives history different dimensions and meaning. To explore this, decolonisation is used as a framework: disrupting the coloniality that ascribes an objectivity to weighted histories. Decolonising history involves looking silences and omissions, as well as the language and power ascribed to or denied from certain historical actors. Decolonising history pedagogy and assessment involves bringing in pedagogies that facilitate creativity, listening, openness to othered and silenced histories, and recognizing of students as holders of the own histories, builders of their own narratives. It involves facilitating the negotiation of worlds, futures, pasts and presents. Emotion holds all of this. This research proposes to explore the presence and role of emotion in history through the lens of decolonisation of history teaching.


Fellows involved in this project

Iso Lomso Fellow
South Africa

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