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Teaching the Crusades: Encountering the Other: A Round Table Discussion for Leeds International Medieval Congress 2010

Author: Kimm Curran and Jason Roche

Type: Conference Report


This is a report on a session at the International Medieval Congress, held at the University of Leeds 12-15 July, 2010. The theme for the conference was Travel and Exploration.

"A recent report conducted by The Historical Association and funded by the government's Department for Education and Skills found that teachers were 'unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history', and at one school they 'deliberately avoided teaching the crusades…because their balanced treatment of the topic would have directly challenged what was taught in some local mosques'. A session on teaching the crusades was organised at the Leeds International Medieval Congress in 2009 in direct response to the report's conclusions. It became clear that teachers within higher and further education establishments likewise faced numerous pedagogical challengers when discussing the concept and practice of medieval holy war. Bringing together an international range of teachers and scholars at various stages of their career, the round table aimed to discuss the challenges faced with and the potential routes to teaching such an 'emotive and controversial' field of history."