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View - eTheses Repository - University of Birmingham

View - eTheses Repository - University of Birmingham

largely exclude an Irish

largely exclude an Irish dimension (eg Robbins, 1998; James, 2001). The way in which two historians, Schama (2000; 2001; 2002) and Ferguson (2003) constructed the past is particularly significant. Each of these historians used both books and a television series to promote their ideas. Between 2000-2002 Schama produced his three books entitled The History of Britain 1300 BC – AD 1603; The History of Britain 1603-1776 and The History of Britain 1776-2000 to support his television series. Volume 1 of his trilogy was the most profitable history book sold in 2000 (Bookseller, 2001). During the first three months of 2003 Schama’s three books ranked second, third and fourth, with volume III having sold 16,529 copies, volume II 10,518 and volume I 9,166 respectively (Bookseller, 2003b). Schama’s first volume began with an inclusive perception of Britain, which was comparable to that given by The Parekh Report (2000): Imagine… a British history in which alteration, mutation and flux, rather than continuity and bedrock solidity are the norm: that does not lead inexorably to a consummation in the unitary state of Great Britain … This would be a history in which a national identity - not just Britain, or in England, but in Scotland, Ireland and Wales - was not fixed but a decidedly shifting and fluid quality… (Schama, 2000, p.16-17) However, the content of this volume proved somewhat different. The first chapter, which covered the period up to the Norman Conquest, set Neolithic settlers within the context of Britain, but the rest of the chapter was Anglo-centric, restricting itself to the area covered by the Romans and conflicts between Saxons and Vikings. References were made to St. Patrick and St. Columba but they were related to England’s past. This is supported by Haigh’s review of Schama’s first volume in The Times Higher Education Supplement, which commented: Like the Blair Project, the new history is modern - not 1950s Churchillian patriotism or 1960s Marxian labour history, but a third way. As with Blairism, it is not clear what the third way might be – something to do with change, multiplicity, heterogeneity, fluidity, contingency, complexity… Despite third way slogans, it is a traditional, a Churchillian agenda… It is a history of England… The Celts get it only when they are a nuisance to the English. (Haigh, 2000, p.27)

Although, the third volume certainly included regions outside England, such as the Irish Potato Famine and the Empire, it is difficult to escape the view that this was a history predominantly viewed from the centre rather than the periphery. If the balance in Schama’s story suffered from ‘sins of omission’, more serious charges can be placed against Ferguson’s (2003) book and television series. Empire: How Britain made the Modern World was the most widely purchased hardback history textbook, with sales totalling 17,682 (Bookseller, 2003b). In the week ending 24 th January 2003, Ferguson had managed to rank fortieth in the composite list of all paperback and hardback sales (Bookseller, 2003a). Ferguson acknowledged the ruthlessness of the British Empire but stressed how it demonstrated Britain’s overwhelming contribution to the world: Without the spread of British rule around the world, it is hard to believe that structure of liberal capitalism would have been so successfully established in so many different countries around the world… It spread the rule of law over vast areas. Though it fought many wars, the Empire maintained a global peace unmatched before or since. (Ferguson, 2003 pp.358-59) His references to Ireland amounted to reasons for 16 th century conquest and problems associated with it, together with moves towards home rule and radicalism leading to the Easter Rising. This examination of the imperialism of Ireland was written from an Anglocentric perspective. Ferguson’s references to Ireland were a minor part of a wider global discourse in which he saw America taking over Britain’s mantle to uphold a new defensive empire in the 21st century. The alarming implications of this approach were highlighted by Wilson’s review in The Guardian, 8 th February 2003: With its swashbuckling heroes and glamorous locations, his series Empire lends fake historical legitimacy to his new imperial enterprise… by using Britain’s imperial past to justify America’s imperial future, Ferguson’s arguments are misleading. Worst of all they encourage policy based on a version of the history of empire that is simply wrong… Based on a version of history last taught over a century ago, these kinds of arguments are not taken seriously by historians today. Until recently, it seemed that

  • Page 1 and 2: PERCEPTIONS OF AN IRISH DIMENSION A
  • Page 3 and 4: ABSTRACT This thesis asserts that a
  • Page 5 and 6: CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES LIST OF ABB
  • Page 7 and 8: CHAPTER 7 206 Movers’ and shakers
  • Page 9 and 10: LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CIDE DEC DfES
  • Page 11 and 12: and global history and that this in
  • Page 13 and 14: experiences of Huguenot refugees in
  • Page 15 and 16: intention for the current research
  • Page 17 and 18: a series of ‘fuzzy generalisation
  • Page 19 and 20: CHAPTER 1 AN IRISH DIMENSION WITHIN
  • Page 21 and 22: never again to be regarded as the p
  • Page 23 and 24: claimed that the experiences of the
  • Page 25 and 26: The report made some reference to d
  • Page 27 and 28: Irish dimension has featured in thi
  • Page 29: together. The relationship between
  • Page 33 and 34: esonance. Secondly, within the peri
  • Page 35 and 36: Before exploring links between an I
  • Page 37 and 38: Historical Association and former H
  • Page 39 and 40: narrative histories based on the ex
  • Page 41 and 42: This did not make explicit referenc
  • Page 43 and 44: ead’. Anti-racism was concerned w
  • Page 45 and 46: working party’s recommendations h
  • Page 47 and 48: and alienated by a diet of history
  • Page 49 and 50: history for equality and diversity
  • Page 51 and 52: CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY: APPROACHES U
  • Page 53 and 54: investigated Art teachers’ percep
  • Page 55 and 56: … a group of children in a class
  • Page 57 and 58: esearch participants must be honour
  • Page 59 and 60: Case Study I: Pilot study of 25 Sec
  • Page 61 and 62: 276 primary schools, 197 are LEA sc
  • Page 63 and 64: comparing the primary and secondary
  • Page 65 and 66: Development Education or the Irelan
  • Page 67 and 68: esponse. A common format for the pr
  • Page 69 and 70: eferences to their life histories.
  • Page 71 and 72: Research into action The issues and
  • Page 73 and 74: organiser and I discussed the prosp
  • Page 75 and 76: schools replied. Only 6 telephone r
  • Page 77 and 78: who volunteered were interviewed. T
  • Page 79 and 80: without evident inhibitions. A more
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    Ireland in Schools (a) Secondary Te

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    CHAPTER 3 THE IRISH DIMENSION WITHI

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    one said that they served the Irish

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    What does a comparison between the

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    Can perceptions of an Irish dimensi

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    Number of respondents 25 38 52 115

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    out of 38 responses and in Case Stu

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    The teaching of an Irish dimension

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    The last question provided responde

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    obtained from at least one school i

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    felt that Irish history and immigra

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    RC responses 0 17 4 1 22 LEA respon

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    Table 9: An examination of the rela

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    y some secondary respondents. A num

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    secondary schools there are respond

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    and Primary Historical Association

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    1 Some Low No - less 2 Some Low/som

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    Birmingham had an Irish community.

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    concentrate on … literacy and num

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    more traditional topics which could

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    The fifth interviewee had been Head

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    The impression given was that at bo

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    which they constructed the past. Fo

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    Birmingham, and the remaining three

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    The interviewee said that at a rece

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    decision to focus on teaching Irish

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    The interviewee taught Ireland as t

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    Examples of topics where an Irish d

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    emphasised pragmatic motives for de

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    Two interviewees indicated that the

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    It is possible that the interviewee

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    commented, ‘We obviously do Engli

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    What did this interviewee have to s

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    When asked about other aspects of t

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    dimension and multicultural and ant

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    the other case studies did not repl

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    The Project Facilitator was intervi

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    The Director worked closely with co

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    In practical terms 80:20 is about w

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    at what was happening in Belfast an

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    of pictures related to current deve

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    elated to an Irish dimension, the P

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    We didn’t feel that they needed t

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    The fact that the interviewee did n

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    We can draw out influences of the w

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    esponsibility for the history curri

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    curriculum. The analysis of the thr

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    • Contributes towards the teachin

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    studying Ireland is a chore, but th

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    article concluded by noting that hi

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    elated to a multicultural or anti-r

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    The interviewee also felt that thei

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    Beyond individual schools they felt

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    Clearly, the co-ordinator’s inter

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    Stage 4. They also considered that

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    For example they had already used m

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    The interviewee developed materials

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    community because they feared that

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    will be considered before consideri

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    een delayed by personal or school d

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    The interviewee indicated more abou

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    Work related to Black History at Ke

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    growing up in an ever smaller world

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    within British history. It is inter

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    through a workshop. They provided t

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    The second teacher was interviewed

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    interviewee had undertaken fund rai

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    interpret the story. Clearly, the s

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    History Project GCSE courses or as

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    The intention is to explore the spe

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    Romans, Tudors, World War 2 in a va

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    interviewee noted that a significan

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    egin to do that. That’s the key,

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    interviewee had also contributed to

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    argue with that really because ther

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    People have come and gone through E

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    leader for the GCSE History pilot.

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    Towards the end of the interview th

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    in their cluster group still had di

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    months before the time of the inter

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    the interests of particular mentors

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    … the further that you get from t

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    Clearly, the issues of the relation

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    ‘schools quite often find that th

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    examination results and league tabl

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    in Britain’s multicultural societ

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    priorities. For some interviewees i

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    Curriculum 2000 and primary intervi

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    implications for both pupils’ und

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    focus for looking at events such as

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    Different interpretations and versi

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    … if comparing the IRA to al-Qaid

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    teach about Ireland at Key Stage 3

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    current study. An exploration of th

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    APPENDICES Appendix I: Appendix II:

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    . Why do you teach it? Rate each of

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    APPENDIX II: Secondary Head of Hist

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    Question 2. How important is multic

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    Question 4. How important is immigr

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    8. DO YOU TEACH IRISH HISTORY/OR IR

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    12. History textbooks at KS4 Please

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    APPENDIX III: Primary History Co-or

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    5. Tick the comment which shows the

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    7. HISTORY TEXTBOOKS AT KS2 Please

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    I really appreciate you help in com

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    APPENDIX V: Perceptions of historic

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    APPENDIX VII: Perceptions of histor

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    APPENDIX IX: Perceptions of histori

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    APPENDIX XI: Perceptions of histori

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    Bookseller (2003 b) The Bookseller,

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    Charlesworth, S. (2000) A Phenomeno

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    Gain, C.and George, R. (1999) Gende

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    Jenkins, K. (1991) Re-thinking the

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    Morrison, V. (1989) ‘Coney Island

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    Riverdance - A Journey (1996) Produ

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    Weight R. (2002) Patriots: National

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