PROBLEMATISED HISTORY PEDAGOGY IN INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION: A RESEARCH CASE OF DISTURBANCE IN NEW ZEALAND’S SECONDARY SCHOOLING CURRICULUM

P. Hunter

The University of Waikato (NEW ZEALAND)
A growing disturbance with history’s identity in New Zealand’s secondary schooling curriculum disrupted my educational socialisation (curriculum, professional, academic) and inheritance of educational policy decisions. In turn, this disturbance shaped a critical stance in my research and practitioner work, and problematised history pedagogy [PHP] emerged as the phenomenon and method of my doctoral research. The PHP as narrative inquiry was situated in my history curriculum programme in a postgraduate year of secondary teacher education. I aimed to engage my history class (research participants as preservice teachers) in pedagogy that involved critique of and reflection on the things we do as history teachers in the secondary curriculum. Conceptualised as a reciprocal research process and system of meaning, the PHP involved the participants and me in reflexive inquiry through genealogical disclosure, fashioning of pedagogic identities, thinking historically, and critique of curriculum conceptions of history.

The presentation draws on the research as a case of pedagogic disturbance and offers insights into the participants’ thinking as beginning history teachers such as: uncertainties about historical knowledge; doubts and discomfort about dealing with ‘difficult’ knowledge; disillusionment with familiar historical narratives; limited engagement with historical research methods in school and university study, and observations of uncritical teacher modelling of history pedagogy. Emergent findings will be discussed in light of the public, accountable and discursive production of the national history curriculum.