Book Chapter

The Scottish Context: Making History in an "Understated Nation"



Smith J (2020) The Scottish Context: Making History in an "Understated Nation". In: Berg CW & Christou TM (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of History and Social Studies Education. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 415-438.

This chapter examines the current landscape of history teaching in Scotland and the historical circumstances which gave rise to it. Beginning with a short historical survey, it looks first at the curriculum guidelines which existed before the opening of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999 and compares these with Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland’s first ‘National Curriculum’ as a devolved nation. The chapter suggests that, in some respects, historical knowledge and understanding in Scottish schools has latterly been subsumed to broader and more instrumental curricular aims. The chapter concludes with some small-scale empirical work which begins to assess the impact of these changes on the history taught in Scottish classroom, and on Scottish history teachers’ professional identities.

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online21/04/2020
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Place of publicationCham, Switzerland

People (1)


Dr Joseph Smith

Dr Joseph Smith

Lecturer, Education

Research programmes