Let us begin with two premises:

(1) History education is a process that beckons the students to interrogate the past. This process begins with facts and, by way of curious, methodical and non-anachronistic questioning, leads to an understanding of what was.

(2) Nations exist in many forms; they each have their genesis; they belong to history and their future is the object and subject of human action; nations are still, today, important reference points for the vast majority of people, who are more inclined to see themselves reflected in them than to reject them.

On this basis, we could say that it is undoubtedly preferable, if we want to measure our historical practice in terms of the true and the good, to continue doing the history of nations because they have a past (that is not lost in the depths of time) and because they have a present that is still in the process of becoming. Of course, no one can know what direction the future of nations will take. Each nation will follow a route that is not contained in its lived past and not limited to its anticipated destiny. Nations have no normative backward or forward course. That is why the best option open to the history teacher is probably to do the history of the nation as if it were an open project that is not driven by any prescriptive teleology and that does not obey any universal routine. The nation is not a lasting given, but a time-sensitive response. Despite centuries of existence, the nation cannot lay claim to permanence. It is, instead, a work-in-progress that never stops (re)configuring itself based on human actions, their interpretations of it, the dreams they invest in it, the hopes they endow it with and the conflicts that distress them on its behalf.

Presenting the nation as an open rather than a closed place, as a reality that can be questioned rather than proof that must be preserved, and as a composite rather than unambiguous historical shape may be a promising path for teaching the transforming nation to an audience—youth—to whom it is essential, by initiating them to the true and the good and giving them a foothold on the world so they, in turn, can build it in their own way.

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