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Title: Teaching the conflict, teaching the transition : history education and historical memory in contemporary Spain
Author: Magill, Clare Alexandra
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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Despite the enormous interest in recent years in the movement to recover the ‘historical memory' of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship, the teaching of these contentious and bloody periods of Spanish history has received relatively little attention. This qualitative study, which explores the experiences and perspectives of secondary school teachers of history, aims to address this gap in the literature. To select the participants for this research, I adopted a stratified, multi-stage, purposive approach, sampling by region, city, school and teacher. The sample comprised 24 history teachers from 17 separate secondary schools in the cities of Madrid (Torrejón de Ardoz), Barcelona, Seville and Oviedo. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five history education experts. All interview transcripts were imported into QSR NVivo 9, a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis package. The data was then analysed using Framework, a systematic, matrixbased approach to data management and analysis. The research findings build on Kitson and McCully's (2005) work by developing their ‘continuum of risk-taking', which relates to the teaching of controversial issues associated with history in Northern Ireland. An adapted model of risktaking is presented. It helps to explain the challenges and pressures teachers face in the Spanish context by identifying and exploring five distinct approaches to the teaching of the history of the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship: avoiding (‘natural' and ‘reluctant'), containing, risk-taking and activist. The research also highlights teachers' frustration with the dominant narrative presented in textbooks of Spain's ‘exemplary' transition to democracy. In so doing, it points to the danger of retrospective inevitability if the history of the transition is not presented in a nuanced fashion and if the alternatives are not explored. As such, the research constitutes an original contribution to the literature, opening up space for new conversations about the teaching of the history not only of conflict but also of the difficult and often controversial compromises that help to bring about cessations of violence. The study also considers the role of history education in the recovery of historical memory and, more broadly, in contributing to the wider reconciliation of Spanish society. Finally, the thesis highlights implications for curriculum and teacher education policy in Spain and beyond.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Modern ; History in popular culture ; Reconciliation