Textbook Representations of the Economy of East and West Germany at the Time of the Golden Age

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
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  • 1 Free University, Berlin, Germany kai.krueger@fu-berlin.de
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Abstract

This article examines the presentation of West Germany's “economic miracle” and East Germany's planned economy in school textbooks published between 2014 and 2016. The textbooks tell a success story of the “social market economy” that hardly takes into account the academic research of the last forty years. The results furthermore show that contemporary sources were altered in the process of textbook production in order that they adhere to the German success story. These findings, however, do not only point to conscious ideology production and a lack of knowledge, but also suggest that competition among publishers is an explanatory factor. Multiperspectival and controversial presentations of the economy occur only sporadically. It is therefore questionable to what extent the textbooks benefit historical learning.

Contributor Notes

Kai Krüger studied history and physics. He was a lecturer and doctoral candidate at the Department of History Didactics at the Free University in Berlin, where he defended his dissertation in April 2019. Since 2018, he has been a schoolteacher in Berlin. Email kai.krueger@fu-berlin.de.

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