Justifying educational acquaintance with the moral horrors of history on psycho-social grounds: 'Facing History and Ourselves' in critical perspective

Ethics and Education 3 (1):75-85 (2008)
Abstract
This paper challenges a pervasive curricular justification for educationally acquainting young people with stories of genocide and other moral horrors from history. According to this justification, doing so favours the development of psycho-social soft skills connected with interpersonal awareness and the establishment and maintenance of positive relationships. It is argued that this justification not only renders the specific historical content incidental to the development of these skills. The educational intention of promoting such psycho-social soft skills by way of studying moral horrors in history constitutes an ethically problematic instrumentalisation of the historical material itself
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