Who We Are
Our Aims
What We Do
How We Do It


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 3-21 year olds.

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 annually, something we have continued to do 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-brainedideas
  • as a catch all net for all aspects of history education
  • as a semantic historical networkof nodes and filaments;
  • as a digital age social and professional network
  • as a world wide web

Where we are based

HEIRNET is based in England, with extremely close links to the University College London Institute of Education  and the Historical Association of Great Britain.

The HEIRNET and HERJ [History Education Research Journal] team

Hilary Cooper is an acknowledged international authority on history education for the early years and primary phases, 3-11. She has published widely in several languages.

Jon Nichol pioneered role play, simulations and history games; series of evidence based textbooks for 7-16 year olds; extensively adopted nationally and internationally and examination curricula and syllabi for the 14-19 age range; and has run numerous curriculum development projects and published widely on History Education for 5-18 year olds.

Michael Mitchell is a specialist in citizenship education and its assessment whose initial specialism was history.

He has written a number of textbooks regarding citizenship and its assessment as well as having undertaken work of behalf of UK government departments relating to British citizenship.

Arthur Chapman is an Associate Professor, History in Education, at UCL Institute of Education and a fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Historical Association.

For more about us, see the website’s PUBLICATIONS section (full name PUBLICATIONS & RESOURCES) for details of HEIRNET’s and HERJ’s  publications.