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Kira Mahamud Angulo and Yovana Hernández Laina

Abstract

In this article we analyze knowledge about economics conveyed via primary school textbooks published during the late Franco dictatorship and the years of transition to democracy in Spain. Starting from the premise that the process of political socialization and identity construction is based partly on economic factors, we examine the evolution of the content of economics in textbooks during and after the technocratic phase of planning and development. We elucidate ways in which economic culture is transmitted in schools, identifying certain values, principles and patterns of sociopolitical thought that this culture upholds and projects.

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A Useless Subject?

Teaching Civic Education in Italy from the School Programs of 1958 to the Present Day

Paolo Bianchini and Maria Cristina Morandini

Abstract

Civic education has always been an ancillary subject in the Italian school system. Introduced at the end of the 1950s as a sort of appendage to the history programs, it has recently been subject to multiple reforms although little or nothing has changed in reality. The analysis of a sample of civic education textbooks in use in schools explains some reasons for this breakdown. Even though they apply the new legislation, these textbooks retain the most blatant defect of civic education in the Western world—the lack of a clear and convincing model of the citizen.

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Dutch Economic Textbooks in the 1970s

Raising the Status of a New Secondary School Type by Means of Mathematical Abstraction

Gerrit F. Gorter, Hilda T. A. Amsing, and Jeroen J. H. Dekker

Abstract

Essential Economics, the influential economics education textbook written by Arnold Heertje for use in Dutch secondary schools in the 1970s, was characterized by a previously unknown and internationally exceptional degree of abstraction. Its users justified this degree of abstraction by arguing that it fulfilled the needs of mental schooling (in line with the formal education argument upheld by defenders of humanism) and that it would enhance the rigorous status of the new type of school known as athenaeum A. In the 1970s, this economics education design was criticized by Herman Hartkamp, who strove to ground economics education on pupil-centered and social meliorist principles. By explaining this struggle and its outcome, this article exposes the various educational ideologies found in textbooks in the segmented Dutch school system.

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Monica Reichenberg

Abstract

In educational systems without comprehensive systems for regulating textbooks, teachers can exert considerable influence on the use of textbooks. However, existing research has not yet identified the mechanisms of this use. Accordingly, the aim of this article is to examine and explain teachers’ strategic use of textbooks. I administered a questionnaire to 313 Swedish teachers of years four to twelve (for pupils of ten to eighteen years of age). The results demonstrate a pathway between reading practices and strategic textbook use, mediated by textbook satisfaction. Pupils’ reading needs had a negative impact on strategic textbook use. Finally, teachers’ experience had a positive impact on reading practices but no effect on strategic textbook use.

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Narrating the Second World War

History Textbooks and Nation Building in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine

Lina Klymenko

Abstract

This article explores the theoretical understanding of the relation between school history textbooks and the state-led construction of national identity. It does this by conceptualizing a history textbook as an assembly of historical narratives that provide young readers with an opportunity to identify with the national community in which they live. By focusing on narrative techniques, including plot, concepts of time and space, and the categorization of characters as in- and out-groups, this article shows how narratives of the Second World War in Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian textbooks contribute to nation-building.

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Negotiating the Nation in History

The Swedish State Approval Scheme for Textbooks and Teaching Aids from 1945 to 1983

Henrik Åström Elmersjö

Abstract

This article explores the discussions concerning history textbooks that occurred within the Swedish State Approval Scheme for Textbooks (Statens läroboksnämnd) from 1945 to 1983. By focusing on the negotiation of nationhood and the process of textbook approval as an arena for the renegotiation of ways in which history was taught in schools, the article reveals that nationalistic sentiment associated with the historical discipline was challenged by intercultural and materialist discourses during the period under examination. However, much of the debate within the State Approval Scheme for Textbooks indicates that an ethnic nationalist discourse and competing discourses introduced in new syllabi for history education after 1945 tended to converge.

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Spatial Relations and the Struggle for Space

Friedrich Ratzel’s Impact on German Education from the Wilhelmine Empire to the Third Reich

Troy Paddock

Abstract

This article examines the influence of Friedrich Ratzel’s idea of the struggle for space and its impact on cultural and national development depicted in German geography and history textbooks from the Wilhelmine era to the Third Reich. Ratzel’s concept of bio-geography conceived the state as a living organism that is the product of humanity’s interaction with the land and also facilitates humanity’s spread across the earth. German textbooks promoted a similar concept of the state in their portrayal of geography and history, the implications of which were appropriated by the National Socialists to support their geopolitical goals.

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Jingyi Li

Abstract

This article examines the cultural values conveyed via texts and illustrations in EFL (English as a foreign language) textbooks currently in use in China. The large number of cultural values represented include patriotism, respect, diligence, collectivism, and equitable gender roles. These show that the national curriculum has been implemented in EFL textbooks. At the same time, the “common sense” design of textbooks also reflects textbook editors’ and writers’ cultural values.

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Working with the Cold War

Types of Knowledge in Swedish and Australian History Textbook Activities

Niklas Ammert and Heather Sharp

Abstract

This article presents a comparative analysis of pupils’ activities dealing with the Cold War in Swedish and Australian history textbooks. By focusing on textbook activities to which pupils respond in relation to their learning of a particular topic, this study identifies knowledge types included in a selection of history textbooks. The study also focuses on the question whether, and if so how, social values are evident in activities concerning the Cold War. The authors develop a matrix that makes it possible to examine knowledge types and social values conveyed by activities. By analyzing textbook activities, this article exposes the hidden curriculum present in the textbooks on the basis of underlying and unstated values present in the activities, and at the same time identifies the way in which the selected textbooks incorporate these values.

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Writing Childhoods, Righting Memory

Intergenerational Remembrance in Post-communist Romania

Codruta Alina Pohrib

Abstract

This article traces different appropriations of intergenerational memory in post-communist Romania in three non-formal educational texts: the pop-up book The Golden Age for Children; Ȋn faţa blocului (Outside the apartment building), a collection of outdoor games that defined the generations of the 1970s and 1980s; and Elev în Comunism (Students during the communist regime), which comprises first person narratives by teenagers imagining their lives as pupils under communism. I flesh out the stakes involved in correcting, repurposing, or capitalizing on nostalgic remembrances of the communist past, which are or may be passed on to children by their parents who grew up under communism, paying close attention to expectations from and pressures on the family as a privileged site of memory transmission.