CfP Issue 2

History and its educational relevance for overcoming tensions in current times

Co-editors Paul Zanazanian (McGill University, Canada) and Martin Nitsche (FHNW School of Education, Switzerland)

Despite numerous studies detailing history’s workings from non-disciplinary perspectives, as seen with research on memory, historical culture, and non-Western approaches to sense creation, modernist views of what history is and how it functions still seem to dominate in the field of education. Because of its application of the historical method as a scientific and rational way of constructing knowledge, history from a disciplinary angle is seen as the form of knowledge creation regarding the past that can best explain “how things actually were”. In educational contexts, such an understanding of history is often perceived as foundational for allowing people to engage and orient themselves in life, giving them the necessary agency to tackle the many social and political problems that they may face. Adopting the historical method as a form of knowledge creation is seen as specifically permitting learners to act in an informed and self-conscious manner, enabling them to interpret emerging present-day realities as plausibly as possible and to correct misinterpretations of the past that are deceptive and non-conducive to positive change, especially as they arise in the public sphere through (social) media, expositions in museums, or political debates. In our contested times, with such life challenges as climate change, increasing frictions between contrasting knowledge systems and ideologies, and the ever-present need of making better room for marginalized peoples in our imperfect societal structures, the question we ask is whether history, understood primarily as a scientific, modernist, and methodological approach to knowledge creation, is still a relevant model for addressing the contemporary needs of our complex world? When seeking to examine both past and present-day problems in formal and non-formal educational settings, we ask:

  • How can we – as researchers, scholars, educators, teachers, etc. – conceptualize our use of history as a form of sense creation for addressing present-day realities and consequently ensuring positive change through its transmission?
  • Is it possible to adapt history’s standard “disciplinary” approach to knowledge creation in order to better address emerging challenges in the world, at different levels of schooling? If so, how?
  • Should other approaches, such as democratic citizenship, use-of-history competencies, oral histories, testimony, and or understandings of historical culture, form the basis for developing new “standards” of history education?
  • Do untapped opportunities remain that can enable the creation of new meanings for new futures?

Article formats

This issue invites both theoretical and empirical approaches to addressing these questions. It is open to scholarly work from local, national, and transcultural contexts. It also welcomes interdisciplinary perspectives and differing research methodologies as practiced in various cultural settings.

Both research papers or miniatures are welcome. Research papers are subject to a double blind peer review. Miniatures are reviewed by the editors. For more information on both text types see here.

Author Guidelines

Please adhere to the requirements of the HTCE journal.


Please submit your manuscript online.


Submission due date: August 31st, 2024
Publication date: Beginning 2025.

For more information contact

Paul Zanazanian at:
Martin Nitsche at


Download Call for Papers as PDF