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Writing Syrian History While Propagating Arab Nationalism

Textbooks about Modern Arab History under Hafiz and Bashar al-Asad

Monika Bolliger

This article argues that Syrian history textbooks promote the formation of Syrian national identity, although their explicit objective is to propagate Arab nationalism. Their authors' attempt to construct the history of an imagined Arab nation encompassing the whole of the Arab world in fact tells the story of different nation-states. Syrian students are therefore confronted with rival geographical spheres of national imagination. Changes in the new textbooks under Bashar al-Asad reveal increased Syrian patriotism, a will to comply with globalization, and attempts to maintain Arab nationalism.

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Caught in a Nutshell

Gerdien Jonker

In this article, I explore the dominant narratives about Islam in German history textbooks from the eighteenth century until the present day. I thereby deconstruct a longue durée script with a rather curious pattern. Until the 1980s, textbook narratives about Islam were rooted exclusively in people's historical imagination. Only when the children of Turkish workers entered the classroom did textbook authors try to accommodate knowledge based on real encounters. By addressing the di erent stages of this longue durée script, I enquire into the functions of narratives as they underpinned a German and European "we."

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Islam and Muslim Cultures in Quebec French-language Textbooks over Three Periods

1980s, 1990s, and the Present Day

Béchir Oueslati, Marie McAndrew, and Denise Helly

This article examines the evolution of the representation of Islam and Muslim cultures in textbooks in Quebec. Results indicate signicant improvements in the new secondary school history textbooks, both quantitatively (for they contain more information about pillars, key concepts, and relations with Christianity and Judaism) and qualitatively (on account of their depth of coverage, fewer negative views than in the 1980s, and fewer factual errors than in the 1990s). The positive role played by Muslim scientists in preserving old knowledge and enriching is also recognized. However, textbooks still view Islam as a religion of submission, proscriptions, and forced conversion, failing to recognize the diversity within Islam and Muslim cultures.

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Muslims in Catalonian Textbooks

Lluís Samper Rasero and Jordi Garreta Bochaca

Textbooks are basic elements that shape the school curriculum. Despite the democratization and decentralization of the Spanish educational system, a certain ideological inertia and bias with respect to their contents and focus persists. The study presented here is based on an empirical analysis of the contents of 264 books used at the primary (6-11 years), secondary (12-14 years) and baccalaureate (15-16 years) levels. The results point to the existence of an "unstated" curriculum, where only brief mention of Islam, Arabs and Muslims, and their presence in Spain predominate. These are usually accompanied by images - for cognitive support - that serve to maintain an exotic, anti-modern, anti-Western and, in other words, an "Orientalist" image of this group.

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Perceptions du traitement de l'islam et du monde musulman dans les manuels d'histoire par des enseignants du secondaire au Québec

Amina Triki-Yamani, Marie McAndrew, and Sahar El Shourbagi

Perceptions of the Treatment of Islam and the Muslim World in History Textbooks by Secondary School Teachers in Quebec

This article focuses on the ways in which Francophone Quebecois secondary 1 and 2 junior high school teachers adapt and transmit the treatment of Islam and the Muslim world in textbooks used for history and citizenship education. The authors focus on the teachers' capacity to identify factual errors, stereotypes or ethnocentric biases concerning these questions. In order to do this, they analyze fourteen semi-structured interviews carried out with teachers on the island of Montreal, considering dimensions and indicators that relate to their relationship to the formal curriculum, as well as to scholarly and social knowledge of these issues. At the same time, we consider their relationship to the real curriculum or to scholarly knowledge as these are transmitted in real-life learning situations.

French Notre article porte sur la manière dont les enseignants du premier cycle du secondaire québécois francophone s'approprient et transmettent le traitement de l'islam et du monde musulman dans le matériel didactique de la discipline d'histoire et d'éducation à la citoyenneté et plus particulièrement, sur leur capacité à identi er les erreurs factuelles, les stéréotypes ou les biais ethnocentriques concernant ces questions. Pour ce faire, nous avons relevé, dans l'analyse des quatorze entretiens semi-directifs menés auprès d'enseignants de l'Ile-de-Montréal, les dimensions et indicateurs portant, d'une part, sur leur rapport au curriculum prescrit, et plus précisément sur leur rapport aux savoirs scolaires, sociaux et parfois de référence sur ces enjeux, et, d'autre part, sur leur rapport au curriculum réel ou aux savoirs scolaires tels que transmis en situation réelle d'apprentissage.

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The Reduction of Islam and Muslims in Ontario's Social Studies Textbooks

Mehrunnisa Ahmad Ali, Nashwa Salem, Béchir Oueslati, Marie Andrew, and Lisa Quirke

Representations of Islam in Ontario's social studies textbooks portray a dehistoricized view of a religion that is disconnected from other monotheistic religions. The varied and complex socio-political and ideological locations of Muslims in historical and current contexts are reduced to simplistic, often negative depictions, either as irrational aggressors or victims of poverty and underdevelopment. More nuanced, historically grounded, and multifaceted representations are called for, in order to promote a more inclusive society in Ontario.

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Teaching about Islam and the Muslim World

Textbooks and Real Curriculum

Marie McAndrew, Amina Triki-Yamani, and Falk Pingel

Textbooks play a critical role in representing and fixing the desired view of society and of intergroup relations in the minds of future generations. As such, textbooks crystallize and translate into a pedagogical form existing dynamics involving the complexity of knowledge and the dominant ideological representations of ethnic or international relations. Studies of teachers’ use of textbooks show that teachers tend to rely heavily on textbooks when teaching less familiar topics, particularly topics dealing with international aspects and dimensions of education.

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Teaching about Islam in the History Curriculum and in Textbooks in France

Mireille Estivalèzes

French society is pluricultural and multireligious, and Islam is its second largest religion. For this reason, schools have to promote better understanding and greater tolerance among pupils. In this context, the history curriculum and history textbooks serve to de ne knowledge and historical memory. In this article, I will analyze the treatment of Islam and the Muslim world in a sample of French textbooks, and identify some of the bias and stereotypes they still convey. I will also explain how this depiction of Islam and the Muslim world has evolved over the last ten years.

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Contextualizing School Textbook Revision

Eckhardt Fuchs

The words “textbook revision” immediately conjure up certain images. We generally think of conflicts surrounding the contents of textbooks, conflicts which are debated in public and usually have an international dimension. Textbook revision generally refers to books on history, geography and social studies, occasionally also religion or biology. It generally relates to those activities aimed at correcting false or distorted interpretations in school textbooks. In addition, it involves two further aspects: improving the quality of teaching with revised textbooks, and conveying universal norms in addition to knowledge of the subject. History and social studies teaching can thus make an important contribution to peace and human rights education.

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Geschichtsdeutung als Macht?

Schulbuchforschung zwischen wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis- und politischer Entscheidungslogik

Falk Pingel

Interpreting History as Power? Textbook Research Between the Scientific Logic of Cognition and Political Decision Logic

Der Artikel hinterfragt das Verhältnis von Wissenschaft, Politik und Pädagogik in Projekten der internationalen Schulbuchrevision. Am Beispiel der deutsch-polnischen Schulbuchkommission, der Schulbuchrevision in Bosnien und Herzegowina sowie von israelisch-palästinensischen Projektgruppen werden mögliche Sequenzierung bzw. das Ineinandergreifen von Politik und Wissenschaft im Beratungsprozess thematisiert und aus dieser Analyse Folgerungen für die das Design zukünftiger Projekte und Forschungen entwickelt.