History Education

Reparative remembering for just futures: History education, multiple perspectives and responsibility

The growing literature around reparative futures in education agrees on the importance of multiple and inclusive narratives for learning about the past.


Indeed, it is recognised that multiplicity has to be part of a reparative account of history given the harms caused by single, exclusionary and hegemonic historical narratives. However, there is limited literature, pedagogical guidance or accounts of how multiple perspectives approaches apprehend competing narratives of the past specifically on questions of responsibility. Drawing on experiences in Cambodia and the UK – where violent and colonial pasts (and presents) are poorly apprehended in the formal school system – this paper reflects on the place and absence of histories of responsibility within history education. We do so in order to explore the potential role such histories can play in securing more just and inclusive presents and futures. We explore the relevance of multiple perspectives pedagogies for futures research and ask questions around how multiple perspectives can interact, including whether they are treated equally, decontextualised, relativised, or can be weighted ethically towards narratives that are seen to be more ‘true’ or more in service of reparative goals. We identify limitations in multiple perspectives approaches around questions of ‘balance’ and representation before reflecting on lessons from theorists engaged in postcolonial and decolonial thinking to parse the ethical and political opportunities afforded through concepts that redefine responsibility around implication, shared future responsibility, and mutual interdependence. 


Peter Manning , University of Bath, UK

Julia Paulson, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Duong Keo, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia


The published version of the paper is available and open access here:

Reparative remembering for just futures: History education, multiple perspectives and responsibility

Download a copy of the full article here

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