Conversations in the History Classroom: Pedagogical Practices in the Transmission of the Recent Past



Processes of intergenerational transmission are discursive practices through which social actors, in interaction with other subjects and objects through time and space, give meaning to the past. As a communicative process, intergenerational transmission has an institutionalized space in school contexts (e.g., Heer, Manoschek, Pollak, and Wodak, 2008; Wineburg, Mosborg, Porat, and Duncan, 2007; Welzer, 2008; Zullo, 2014). The history classroom is a socially legitimated space to transmit values, arguments, and representations of the past. This space is also designed to construct national identity based on our “common past.” Educational discourses have an important role in the reproduction of shared beliefs in society. “For their impact in the shaping of beliefs of a large amount of people, public discourses have a primordial influence, much more meaningful than private conversations and texts” (Van Dijk, 2004:15).1 Potentially, the educational context can influence how a large number of people construct the recent past. As spaces of cultural reproduction, schools have a role in the legitimation or challenging of dominant narratives about the past.


Armed Force Recent History Intergenerational Transmission Executive Branch Social Memory 
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Copyright information

© Mariana Achugar 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityUSA

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