Teaching History Education for Reconciliation in Countries with Conflict-Affected Societies: A Systematic Review


  • Endris Abera* Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia




History is contested and emotive subject frequently manipulated by ethno nationalists to serve vested interests and political agendas. Especially, in countries with divided politics, teaching history plays a prominent role either to facilitate division or to promote reconciliation, and national unity. What matters is what and how it is taught in the school. The purpose of this systematic review is to explore how countries with conflict affected societies approach history education to promote reconciliation and national unity. Theories of history teaching and learning were used as lens to achieve this purpose. Totally, 25 papers were purposively selected and reviewed using a systematic review method with configurative synthesis logic. The results revealed that despite new knowledge and a firm consensus among researchers for alternative narratives and inquiry-based pedagogical approaches to respect diversity and build critical thinking abilities, the single narrative approach predominates both in textbooks and classrooms. Only some countries applied the multiple perspective curriculum approach together with the inquiry-based pedagogy. The single narrative ignores the inclusion of multiple narratives and controversial issues in textbooks and classroom discussions. Consequently, it exposes students to informal and counter-narratives in the out-of-school community and contributes to division rather than reconciliation. This review concludes by suggesting that in countries with divided societies, history curricula, and classroom pedagogy should create an enabling environment for students to grasp multiple narratives and controversial issues to promote reconciliation.


Reconciliation, multiple perspectives, ethnocentric, single narratives




How to Cite

Abera, E. (2023). Teaching History Education for Reconciliation in Countries with Conflict-Affected Societies: A Systematic Review. Abyssinia Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 8(1), 13–22. https://doi.org/10.20372/ajbs.2023.8.1.800



Original Research Articles