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Project: History and moral encounters (HiME)

The aim of the four year project is to increase knowledge about intersections of historical consciousness and moral consciousness for the purpose of helping to develop new theoretical tools for history teaching that can support education for democratic citizenship. Modern history teaching is expected to contribute to developing students' critical thinking and commitment to democratic values and human rights, yet there is little research on how historical interconnections are interpreted by students and linked to their moral consciousness.

About the project

Entire name of the project
History and moral encounters: Exploring theoretical and empirical intersections of historical and moral consciousness from a history didactic perspective
Project manager
Niklas Ammert, Linnaeus University
Project members
Jan Löfström, University of Turku and guest professor at Linnaeus University; Silvia Edling, University of Gävle; Heather Sharp, University of Newcastle (Australien)
Funding organisation
January 1 2018–December 31 2021

More about the project

The project History and Moral Encounters has sprung from a collaboration between Jan Löfström and Niklas Ammert that has been going on for many years. In connection to RJ’s granting of initiation funds in 2015, Silvia Edling and Heather Sharp were also tied to the group.

The project aims to provide more in-depth knowledge on how the correlation between historical consciousness and moral consciousness can be understood, partly through text analysis of earlier history didactics research from 1980–2019, and partly by analysing how 15-year-olds in Finland and Sweden reason morally about historical dilemmas.

During 2018, empirical data is being gathered and work is going on to develop and calibrate the analysis tools that are required for the two substudies. Papers are presented at a number of national and international conferences.


HiME's publications in the research database DiVA


  • Niklas Ammert and others

    In October, a three-day project meeting was held in Stockholm, where we summarized results and how we have disseminated results in various contexts. We drew up plans for the future and decided to henceforth work in network form and foster contacts with international colleagues. In addition, the focus will be directed more towards issues of democracy in relation to history didactic perspectives, i.e. intersections between historical awareness, moral awareness and democracy.

  • During the fall of 2022, the HiME group worked on the script for a book aimed at teacher training students at advanced level, teachers and researchers. The book is written in Swedish and will be published by the publishing house Gleerups in 2023.

  • In March 2022, the book Historical and Moral Consciousness in Education: Learning Ethics for Democratic Citizenship Education (Routledge) was published, summarizing our work and findings. During the spring and summer, we presented our research at conferences in Sydney, Gothenburg and Amsterdam.

  • During the spring and summer of 2021, in addition to participating in international online conferences, we have devoted ourselves to intensive work with the script for the project's final book. The book is preliminary entitled Historical and Moral Consciousness in Education: Learning Ethics for Democratic Citizenship Education and will be published by Routledge in 2022.
    - We have also agreed with Gleerups to write a textbook for teacher students. The book will be based on our theoretical and empirical results and will offer both mind models and more tangible tips for prospective teachers, active teachers, researchers and other interested parties.
    - The Swedish National Agency for Education pays attention to our research in their article Elever ser historieämnets moraliska potential (Students see the moral potential of the subject of history).
    - See all our published articles via the link to DiVA under the heading Publications above.

  • On 12-13 October 2020, the HiME group held a symposium with invited guests from a number of European countries and from Australia. In light of the Covid 19 situation, the meeting was held using Zoom. Presentations and discussions were based on the theme History and Moral Encounters and provided further perspectives on the theme. The presentations will be published in a thematic issue of Historical Encounters Journal in 2021.

  • HiME has published two new publications in June 2020. You can find them and all other publications via the link Publications above.
    - Edling, Silvia, Heather Sharp, Jan Löfström & Niklas Ammert, “The good citizen: Revisiting moral motivations for introducing historical consciousness in history education drawing on the writings of Gadamer”, in Citizenship, Social and Economics Education, 2020.
    - Edling, Silvia, Heather Sharp, Jan Löfström & Niklas Ammert, “Why is ethics important in history education? A dialogue between the various ways of understanding the relationship between ethics and historical consciousness”, in Ethics and Education, 2020.

  • In August 2019, the HiME group held a symposium with three presentations at the HEIRNET conference in Vienna. HEIRNET is short for History Educators International Research Network.
Silvia Edling
Silvia Edling's presentation in Vienna.
  • At the NOFA7 conference (Nordisk fagdidaktisk konferanse) at Stockholm University 13-15 May, Social perspective taking and moral reflection [judgement] in lower secondary school students’ responses to historical moral dilemmas: observations from a Swedish-Finnish survey study was presented.
group picture
Niklas Ammert, Heather Sharp and Jan Löfström.
  • At the conference for the National Network for Research in History Didactics in Växjö 8-10 May 2019 the project group gave four presentations:
    Heather Sharp presented Mapping the development of the concept of historical and moral consciousness in higher degree research theses, Silvia Edling presented Exploring the link between historical consciousness and moral consciousness: motivations, epistemological assumptions and moral purposes, Jan Löfström presented In search for intersections of historical empathy and moral sensitivity: Swedish and Finnish lower secondary school students on an historical moral dilemma and Niklas Ammert presented Identifying aspects of temporal orientation in students’ moral reflections.
Group picture
Niklas Ammert, Jan Löfström, Silvia Edling and Heather Sharp.
  • Silvia Edling and Heather Sharp presents the paper Exploring the link between historical consciousness and moral consciousness: motivations, epistemological assumptions and moral themes at the AARE conference in Sydney, December 2018. Read more.

  • Jan Löfström, together with Liisa Myyry and Mia Silfver-Kuhalampi, presented the text Enhancing Adolescent’s Moral Development Through History Teaching at the AME (Association for Moral Education) conference in Barcelona, November 8–10, 2018. Read more.

  • Niklas Ammert gave a presentation about the project in Malmö in April, 2018, at the annual conference for Nationella nätverket för historiedidaktisk forskning.

  • Special issue in the magazine Historical Encounters Journal. The articles in the special issue origin from one of the workshops that the project group arranged during the application stage.