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Project: History and moral encounters

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 didaktik perspective
Project Manager
Niklas Ammert, Linnaeus University
Project Members
Jan Löfström, University of Helsinki; 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.


  • 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. Read more.