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.

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, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Cyprus, Slovenia, Corfu, Austria, England, the Netherlands and Sweden. The 2020 meeting, due to take place in Amsterdam, was postponed due to the global pandemic and replaced by a virtual conference. The 2024 conference will take place in Stirling in Scotland.

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 of HERJ are available (and other publications) at 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) which 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 the next year, something we have continued to do annually (although 2020 was virtual) 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