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> Resources > CCU - Community Cohesion Materials > CCU - History > CCU - History - Resource 8

Resource 8

The Historical Association History

Community cohesion and the prevention of violent extremism
A resource for teachers to use in the classroom

Resource title
'They took Ireland away from us and we've got to fight to get it back.'
Source: See attached pdf article, or for online access to Historical Association members go to
This article in 'Teaching History' – the Historical Association journal for secondary teachers – explores the difficulty in getting pupils to understand that different people interpret the past in different ways, depending on their own prejudices and intentions. It is a difficult concept to come to grips with, but it is essential for community cohesion that pupils understand that different people may perceive the same event from a different perspective, and that this will influence the 'big picture' they have of this country's history.

The article uses fictional characters – Ken and Pat – to encourage pupils to:
  • explore how history has affected their personal identity, culture and lifestyle.
  • investigate how history has been used by individuals and groups to create stereotypical perceptions and to justify views and actions.
Using fictional characters allows an initial distancing from personal emotions, and provides an effective bridge into controversial issues. This article provides an example of teachers developing the skills to effectively challenge the sometimes-perceived disparity between 'school' history and 'community' histories. It is of obvious resonance in Northern Ireland, but is equally adaptable to other countries and situations. It helps pupils to develop knowledge of religion, history, citizenship and English and to analyse current and relevant issues of concern.
Links across other subjects within resource
Citizenship, English, Media, RE
Additional support
Other articles in 'Teaching History' focusing on teaching controversial issues in Northern Ireland: The Historical Association report: Teaching Emotive and Controversial Issues' can be downloaded from the HA website:

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