Personal pages

G.M. Savenije MA (Geerte)


Biographical Note

Geerte Savenije (1984) studied History from 2002 to 2008 at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and French modern history at the University Francois-Rabelais in Tours, France. At the Radboud University she participated in the extracurricular Honours Programme. Savenije graduated cum laude in Cultural History with a thesis on ideas of community and cohesion within the International School for Philosophy (ISVW) in the interwar period in the Netherlands. In 2009 she completed her Master’s degree in teaching history at the Graduate School of Education at the Radboud University with a thesis on methods to improve pupils’ answering of evaluative historical questions.       


From 2009 to 2014 Savenije worked as a PhD student at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, within the research programme Heritage education, plurality of narratives and shared historical knowledge. This research programme was financed by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO). Supervisors were Professor Carla van Boxtel and Professor Maria Grever. For her dissertation, Savenije examined pupils’ learning about sensitive history, specifically the history of slavery and WWII, while engaged in heritage projects. In two case studies, she studied pupils’ historical imagination of these past realities and on their attribution of significance to the histories and heritage.

Within the period of her PhD research, Savenije presented paper, poster and round table presentations at various international conferences, such as AERA 2013, the annual conference of the Centre for Learner Identity Studies of 2012, EARLI 2011, JURE 2011 and ICOM-CECA 2011. She also presented a paper at the international conference Tangible Pasts? Questioning Heritage Education which she helped organise within the context of the research programme in Rotterdam in 2013. She completed the educational programme of the Huizinga Research Institute and Graduate School for Cultural History in Amsterdam. She also received her qualification for teaching at university level (BKO), taught several classes at the Erasmus University and conducted workshops at various national conferences on heritage education and the teaching of sensitive history. Between 2011 and 2012, Savenije was PhD representative at the Erasmus School for History Culture and Communication (ESHCC) of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. During her PhD research, she participated in several research groups regarding the learning of history, the cultural memory of the WWII and the study of historical culture.


Since September 2014, Savenije works as a postdoc researcher at the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam.


Main research interests are history and heritage education, pupils’ identities and their preconceptions about history, teaching and learning about sensitive history in urban classrooms.