Our blog page is open to anyone who would like to write about history that is controversial or contested.

The Status Quo: Competing claims to religious sites in Jerusalem
April 12, 2024

How the Ottoman Empire tried to resolve competing claims to religious sites in Jerusalem can help us understand why any ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will almost certainly not defuse a prime cause of conflict.

Read More
What young people in Northern Ireland can teach the rest of us
December 5, 2023

...young people who have grown up in a post-conflict society (it’s now over 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed) have something valuable to teach the rest of us about how to approach the history of a conflict

Read More
Teaching the Israel Palestine conflict: a perspective from a US classroom
November 20, 2023

Tensions between students identifying with opposing groups. While these might be seen as fraught moments to be avoided by some, or difficulties to be subdued by others, for teachers of modern history perhaps these could also be seen as golden opportunities

Read More
Lies, damn lies and post-truth
November 1, 2023

Most politicians lie. Or do they? Even if we could find some isolated example of a politician who was scrupulously honest – former President Jimmy Carter, perhaps – the question is how to think about the rest of them. And if most politicians lie, then why are some Americans so hard on President Donald Trump?

Read More
How can history teachers help their students spot what’s fake and what’s fact?
October 19, 2023

"When I was teaching full-time, I was often struck by how long it took pupils to realise that the source skills I was teaching them had an application to the news and current affairs they were consuming."

Read More
What happened to flipped learning and the video revolution?
June 8, 2023

This blog is about how we created our original educational materials which used interactive video, and why we are changing now.

Read More
Keep talking: a reflection on how dialogue keeps peace alive
May 9, 2023

At Agreement 25, the event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement hosted at Queen’s University Belfast, I watched as the leaders of each major political party in Northern Ireland gathered for a panel discussion.

Read More
Cromwell and Empire
April 24, 2023

Parallel Histories have produced a new product on Oliver Cromwell, a man commonly studied in British schools but not particularly associated with Empire. Why not?

Read More
Why and how Oliver Cromwell’s reputation has evolved
March 24, 2023

Stuart Orme is curator at the Cromwell Museum, Huntingdon. He sat down with Miriam Tomusk to discuss the shifting legacy of Oliver Cromwell, his relevance today, the work of the Museum, and working with schools and teachers.


Read More
Black History Month in the US – teaching about race when it could cost you your job.
February 20, 2023

This program is unique because it retells the history of the United States as two narratives: European American and African American. Students are encouraged to compare and contrast the two to understand how and why they diverge and converge.

Read More
What can two minutes of The Simpsons tell you about US perceptions of Cuba?
January 13, 2023

TV shows can tell us a lot about the relationships between different countries and societies. Placing a TV clip in the context of some basic knowledge about a country and its history can release a wealth of information that is otherwise easy to miss.

Read More
Why unionists and nationalists should not shy away from their competing views on past
January 9, 2023

There’s no point in providing history students with an inoffensive curriculum, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

Read More
Famous deaths, and how to use them in your lessons
January 4, 2023

During 2022, we lost a number of prominent public figures. While students are familiar with Pele and the Queen, below this top tier, many other famous deaths are reported by the news.

Read More
Where there is discord, will invoking Thatcher’s memory bring harmony?
November 22, 2022

Following the bitter and drawn-out removal of Boris Johnson Prime Minister earlier this year, the Conservative Party found itself tussling over who the next leader would be. Hannah Coltman explores, will invoking Thatcher’s memory bring harmony?

Read More
Songs as Historical Sources – Margaret Thatcher
October 26, 2022

Researching our new programme on Margaret Thatcher, it became clear to me that her influence touches on almost every aspect of British life. Selecting a small number of sources was difficult due to the sheer scope of her influence and how to convey it.

Read More
What are students thinking about free speech now?
October 5, 2022

This interesting new research shows that most university students feel their freedom of speech is protected at university, in fact students are more confident about their freedom of speech than the general public. It supports an earlier study suggesting that the impact of culture wars and cancel culture on Britain is exaggerated.

Read More
Six FAQs about teaching Israel and Palestine
August 17, 2022

After engaging with hundreds of teachers over five years we have developed the scheme of work for teaching the Israel Palestine conflict. We want to help teachers teach controversial history and we try to provide the tools they’ll need to help them like schemes of work, CPD and debating opportunities for students.

Read More
In praise of Margaret Thatcher
July 29, 2022

Having looked at a negative view of Thatcher here, we will now examine David Cameron’s glowing tribute to Thatcher, made in the House of Commons following her death in 2013.

Read More
Margaret Thatcher’s Contested Legacy – the case against Thatcher
July 28, 2022

Forty years after Margaret Thatcher came to power, coalfield communities like mine are still dealing with the fallout of her government’s actions.

Read More
When Putin was an ally of the West
June 30, 2022

This extract from a speech by former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, made in 2002, illustrates just how far perceptions of Vladimir Putin have changed.

Read More
When the Soviets disowned Stalin
June 13, 2022

Continuing our examination of Stalin’s complicated legacy in our Great Leaders series, below is a speech that is very critical of Stalin given by one of his successors, Nikita Khrushchev, in 1956.

Read More
When an American civil rights leader praised Stalin
May 16, 2022

As part of our Great Leaders programme that examines the legacies of controversial historical figures, we post an American civil rights leader’s glowing obituary for Josef Stalin.

Read More
To understand the war in Ukraine, we must understand Russia’s Parallel Histories
May 9, 2022

To understand the war in Ukraine, we must understand Russia’s parallel interpretations of recent history.

Read More
The GDR – An (un)lawful state? / Die DDR – (K)ein Unrechtsstaat?
April 22, 2022

Celeste Schoenen and her students from Langerwehe, Germany have been developing a Parallel Histories debate programme in German and English about whether the GDR was ‘unrechtsstaat’ (an unlawful state).

Read More
A Tudor House Divided
April 13, 2022

Miriam Tomusk explores how a parallel narratives approach to studying the history of Mary I and Elizabeth I can help challenge preconceptions about Tudor history.

Read More
The Real Winston Churchill
March 16, 2022

In keeping with our Great Leaders videos, here Richard Seymour presents the case against Winston Churchill’s elevated status as a national hero.

Read More
In Defence of Churchill
March 10, 2022

Our Great Leaders videos examine the case for and against Churchill’s status as the greatest Briton ever. Continuing our engagement with this debate, here Richard Langworth puts forward his defence of Churchill’s legacy.

Read More
In the Classroom – How to start ‘decolonising the curriculum’ without having to change all the topics you teach.
February 15, 2022

Michael Davies explores ways to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ by simply rereading some of the existing topics you teach with a more critical ‘decolonising’ eye.

Read More
Making sources fun, not formulaic
January 26, 2022

Sarah Gillen introduces some strategies to broaden student thinking and move beyond a formulaic approach when evaluating sources.

Read More
UK’s ‘culture war’ risks leading to US-style divisions – but we’re not there yet
December 11, 2021

An article by King’s College London working with Ipsos MORI suggests that the UK is not yet as polarised as the U.S.A., a finding that correlates with our experiences of debating in classrooms.

Read More
Lessons for Brexit Britain from the Balkans
November 8, 2021

George Kyris and Luke Bacigalupo discuss how disputes over sovereignty may drag on for decades and what the UK could learn from the conflict over Kosovo’s sovereignty.

Read More
Using the Parallel Histories approach to promote debating at A Level
October 25, 2021

Elena Stevens writes about how she has integrated historical debating into her A Level and enrichment classes, and broadened the appeal of debating controversial aspects of history beyond the students already studying History A level.

Read More
My top tips and strategies for teaching the Middle East at GCSE
September 2, 2021

Hugh Castle shares his top tips on incorporating the Parallel Histories methodology into the curriculum for teaching the Middle East.

Read More
Debating Israel and Palestine in the KS3 classroom
August 10, 2021

Shellie Webster recounts the many benefits that embarking on the Israel-Palestine debate programme has had on the educational experiences of her students.

Read More
What about Henry Dundas? Ask the students at Lourdes School in Glasgow
July 1, 2021

How schools in Glasgow are taking an innovative approach to debating the contested history of Henry Dundas’ involvement in the slave trade.

Read More
Grasping the nettle – Teaching Israel and Palestine
June 4, 2021

Michael Davies explores the immense benefits of teaching Israel-Palestine head-on.

Read More
Education, religion and politics: can they ever be disentangled in Northern Ireland?
May 13, 2021

Dr Cecilia Biaggi highlights the complex history of education in Northern Ireland, in its relation to the state and to religion.

Read More
“History is constructed, and it’s often constructed for a purpose”
April 29, 2021

Michael Davies was recently interviewed by Pádraig Ó Tuama for the Corrymeela Podcast. Corrymeela is Northern Ireland's oldest peace and reconciliation organisation and Pádraig leads this community, bringing interests in language, violence and religion to his work.

Read More
A student’s guide to History’s history
March 25, 2021

Mary Ormerod shares 8 key principles for approaching the complex history of History.

Read More
Dear Parent: why your child is learning histories not history
March 11, 2021

How letters to parents can be used to explain why their children are learning parallel narratives, especially where the conflict in question continues to resonate with the community of the school.

Read More
Diversifying the Teaching of the First World War: The Battle of Broken Hill
February 24, 2021

The massive reaction we got to Elena Stevens’ blog about diversifying the teaching of World War One is proof that teachers are looking for stories about this global war which do not come from the Western Front.

Read More
Diversifying the Teaching of the First World War
January 22, 2021

Students should understand that the conflicts of World War One were played out in much more diverse arenas (and with much more diverse armies) than traditional narratives might have us believe.

Read More
“Teaching the history is absolutely vital”
December 1, 2020

Mary Ormerod interviews Mohammed Amin, prominent businessperson and former chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum.

Read More
Suspicion in the eye of the beholder
October 30, 2020

Travelling through Israel and Palestine while doing research for her undergraduate thesis, Rosie Hoddinott learns about the psychological impact of conflict and the nature of suspicion.

Read More
Caught in the ripples of a receding tide
September 17, 2020

Michael Davies recounts his father's experience as a soldier at the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1946.

Read More