Category Archives: Publications

No outside history: Reconsidering postmodernism

Parkes, R. J. (2014). No outside history: Reconsidering postmodernism. Sungraphô [Agora], 49(3), 4-10.

PostmodernismIs Postmodernism really a threat to history? [From the Introduction]: In this paper, I want to explore the relationship between postmodernism and history. I will argue that postmodern theory, far from killing history as its critics suggest, is a profoundly historicist mode of thought that extends the gaze of the historian so nothing escapes it, not even themselves. This is its great challenge to the historian and history educator. Although it may seem a little late to be defending postmodern theory in history education, I am motivated in this task by the bad press postmodernism continues to receive, particularly whenever school curricula are brought up. While I share some of the concern shown by historians, educators, and social theorists towards aspects of cultural postmodernism, I offer a more sympathetic reading of postmodern theory (philosophical postmodernism) than is typical among historians and history educators. In particular, I will argue for the importance of recognising the complexity of postmodernism’s relationship to history, particularly the idea that nothing stands outside history, and make some brief comments regarding its implications for history educators. .
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Changing conceptions of historical thinking in History education: an Australian case study

Parkes, R. J., & Donnelly, D. (2014). Changing conceptions of historical thinking in History
education: an Australian case study. Revista Tempo e Argumento, Florianópolis, 6(11), 113‐136.

Changing conceptions of historical thinking in History education: an Australian case studyMany nations have experienced conflict over the content of their History curriculum, and debates over the relative importance of skills (historical thinking) versus content (historical knowledge). Australia is no exception. This paper seeks to contribute to discussions over the importance of historical thinking in History education by exploring the changing conceptions of historical thinking in the History curricula of New South Wales (NSW) (Australia’s most populous state; which evolved from the earliest British colony; has an uninterrupted tradition of History teaching in high schools; and a rather unique post-compulsory extension course). Recently, History has become a mandatory subject in all Australian schools from the foundation year through to the last year of compulsory schooling [F-10], for the first time since the federation of the Australian states (1901), when curriculum was constitutionally determined to be a State responsibility. This paper charts the changing forms and relative importance of historical thinking as an explicit outcome of History education in NSW History curricula, from its emergence in the 1970s elective History curriculum to current explication in the NSW syllabi for the mandatory Australian ‘national’ Curriculum. It also explores the nature and significance of the post-compulsory ‘senior’ History extension course in NSW, an option for History students in the final non-compulsory year of schooling. This extension course boldly incorporates the study of historiography, requiring students to apply their meta-historical insights in an original historiographic investigation, anchoring complex historical theory in an experience of being an historian. We argue that the move to incorporate historiography into the curriculum expands the notion of what constitutes historical thinking in History education. Thus, we conclude by reflecting on what these different ways of conceptualising historical thinking mean for the social and educational function of history, and what implications they suggest for History education.

cover_issue_306_pt_BRThis paper was translated into Portuguese by Fabrício Coelho.

PARKER, Robert J.; DONNELLY, Debra. Concepções em mudança do pensamento histórico no
ensino da história: um estudo de caso australiano. Revista Tempo e Argumento, Florianópolis, v. 6,
n.11, p. 137‐161, jan./abr. 2014. Título original: Changing conceptions of historical thinking in History
education: an Australian case study. Traduzido por Fabricio Coelho.

Please click on the journal cover image to locate a copy of the published paper.

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Encountering history within and beyond borders

EditorialThis is the editorial for the inaugural issue of Historical Encounters, a peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary journal of historical consciousness, historical cultures. The title of the journal intends to suggest Gadamer’s (1992) notion of ‘the fusion of horizons’, as we explore the ways in which members of our communities experience, interpret, learn, study, and respond to the historical worlds they encounter. The editorial provides a brief, personal history, of the emergence of the journal. The papers in the inaugural issue reflect the wide range of scholarship currently occurring that treats historical consciousness, historical culture, and history education as its objects of analysis. With contributions from Australia, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, they represent an exciting diversity of works located within a variety of intersecting research fields including: history teacher education (McLean & colleagues), historical theory (Thorp), museum studies and public pedagogy (Smith), curriculum history and history textbook studies (Elmersjö), public history (Clark), and history education (Ahonen; and Ammert). The inaugural issue also offers it’s first ‘provocations’ piece, arguing for the use of ‘counterfactuals’ in history education (Huijen & Holthuis); and shares an extended abstract of a recently completed doctoral dissertation (Salter), in a section that it is hoped will be successful in showcasing the work of new scholars in the field.

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What is Poststructuralism?

My new release first edition Kindle eBook for Academic Bytes.

Poststructuralism is one of the most important social theories to have emerged from Europe in the late Twentieth Century, yet it remains notoriously difficult to define. In this concise introductory text, Robert John Parkes provides: (1) an original and accessible guide to the three orientations that underpin poststructural thought; (2) a brief genealogy of poststructuralism including an exploration of its relationship to the philosophy of structuralism; and (3) a succinct response to the main criticisms of poststructural theory. Deliberately short and to the point, this will be a welcome text for busy university students and scholars wanting to gain a rapid understanding of poststructural thought.

FORMAT: Kindle Edition eBook
PUBLICATION DATE: 28 October 2012

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Call for Papers

History Curriculum, Geschichtsdidaktik, and the Problem of the Nation

I am currently co-guest editing with Professor Monika Vinterek (Darlana University, Sweden) a special issue of the journal ‘Education Sciences’. International dialogue has begun to take shape between the European bildung-influenced tradition of Didaktiks and the Anglo-American Curriculum Studies tradition. As it stands, the dialogue has concentrated on a comparative analysis of the traditions at the level of general curriculum theory or Allgemeine Didaktik (see for example, Gundem & Hopmann, 2002), and has rarely, if ever, drilled down into an area of subject-specific pedagogy or fachdidaktiks. This special issue seeks to address this directly, by encouraging a dialogue between various regional and national traditions of history education or Geschichtsdidaktik.

Contributors are invited to submit papers that explore how history education or Geschichtsdidaktik should respond, is responding, or has responded, to the problem of narrative diversity and the nation-building project. Studies that explore insights from a specific tradition of history education, and those that engage in comparative work across traditions are both welcome. While dialogue between historically and culturally distinctive traditions may be difficult, we believe it holds promise for the possibility of new insights, and presents opportunities for exciting transformations. Further details can be found by clicking on the “call for papers” image above.

Further details can be found by clicking on the “call for papers” image above. Deadline for manuscript submissions is: 1 September 2012.

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