The teaching of history and reconciliation
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The question of history teaching and learning in Cyprus often comes to the forefront of public debate, mainly in the daily press, as a contest between those who wish to change the school history textbooks and those who want them to stay as they are. Although such discussions are useful, in this paper they are of secondary importance to the question of what the aims are, the methodological weaknesses and, more fundamentally, the epistemological assumptions of the current way history is being taught and learned in Greek-Cypriot schools of Cyprus. As this paper shows, one of the most important problems of teaching and learning history today in Cyprus is the understanding of history teaching by many educators as a mere transmission of beliefs and the presentation of the past as heritage. Not only this state of affairs does not promote historical understanding, but it hinders reconciliation cementing division. We conclude with a call for urgent educational reform in the epistemology, aims and methods of history teaching and learning in Cyprus.