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Keywords:

  • history;
  • identity;
  • citizenship;
  • school history;
  • social cohesion

ABSTRACT: The article presents the findings from a survey of over 400 young people in metropolitan areas in the Netherlands and England concerning their views on identity and school history. The research explored pupils’ ideas about which facets of history were of interest to them, what history they believed should be taught in schools, and their views on the purposes of school history and history in general. The coding of the data made it possible to delineate between those from different ethnic minority backgrounds, boys and girls, age and level of education and first or second generation of migration. The study revealed significant differences between young people's ideas about history and identity, and those advanced by politicians and policy makers in the Netherlands, England and elsewhere. The concluding section of the paper considers the implications of the findings for policy makers in the field of history education in schools.