About us

The History Educators International Research Network [HEIRNET] brings together colleagues from around the world interested in history’s civilising, cultural, educational, moral, social, political and citizenship roles. We are a small, informal and hopefully warm and welcoming community; as such, we look forward to your interest and involvement in HEIRNET.

HEIRNET’s purpose is to share and discuss international research into the aims, purposes and scope of history education for 3-25 year olds. HEIRNET is based in England, with extremely close links to the University College London Institute of Education and the Historical Association of Great Britain.

Our Conferences

HEIRNET annually hosts an international conference. The first HEIRNET conference in 2004 in Ambleside led to increasingly supported and successful conferences, which were characterized by friendliness and informality, irrespective of academic status. Since then, the HEIRNET annual conferences takes place in varied locations, significantly usually where history is a hotly contested subject. To date, our annual conferences have been held in Greece, South Africa, the USA, Brazil, Greece, Northern Ireland, Republic oF Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Cyprus, Slovenia Corfu, and Austria as well as England. The 2020 meeting, due to take place in Amsterdam, was postponed due to the global pandemic and the 2021 meeting will be an online event, details of which can be found here.

Our Publications

HEIRNET has had a leading role in the following publications:

  • From 2002-2018, HEIRNET published the International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research
  • From 2002-2018, HEIRNET published the International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research (IJHLTR, r.i.p.) in association with the Universities of Exeter, Cumbria and the Historical Association. All back numbers are available on the of HERJ and other publications of the University College London [UCL Press].
  • From 2018, HEIRNET has been instrumental in the publishing of the History Education Research Journal [HERJ]

In 2018 the University College London, Institute of Education Press, [UCL IOE Press] became the publisher of IJHLTR, relaunched as the History Education Research Journal (HERJ) that Arthur Chapman of UCL Press, edits with the support of an editorial board.

Our Origins

In 2004, Dr Hilary Cooper, Professor of History and Pedagogy at the University of Cumbria and Dr Jon Nichol of Exeter University’s History Education Centre organized a conference for history educators at Ambleside, Cumbria, in northern England. Amazingly, about 40 people from every continent attended what turned out to be, a very exciting conference, the hallmark of which was its friendly atmosphere. We decided to meet next year, something we have continued to do annually (apart from 2020) ever since.

Our Acronym

HEIRNET, the acronym for the History Educators’ International Research Network reflects several musings, including:

  • as an heir of history
  • as a protective hairnet
  • as being wild, fleeting hare-like with even hare-brained ideas
  • as a catch all net for all aspects of history education
  • as a semantic historical network of nodes and filaments;
  • as a digital age social and professional network
  • as a world wide web