The concept of identity has evolved from an essentialist notion of a dominant group (which largely disregards the existence of plural identities or “patchwork identities” and their contextuality)2 into a notion that recognizes the discursive and fluid constitution of identities that are “constantly in the process of change and transformation.”3 Beyond academic debate about definitions, identity remains a relevant category in politics and society. Identity politics mobilize followers and supporters and may foster nation building. They are seldom unchallenged, for different discourses of identity often struggle for supremacy.
Muhammad Ayaz Naseem and Georg Stöber
The Elusiveness of Multiculturalism and Positive Recognition in Sri Lankan History Textbooks
This article analyzes the representation of Sri Lanka's communities in history textbooks that are currently in use. Even before the end of the war in 2009, the education system was recognized as an instrument with which the country's divided society could be rebuilt. The issues addressed in this article concern a period in which ambitious educational reforms are being implemented that envision textbooks as a tool for the creation of a new generation of citizens in a postwar society. It reveals that the general lack of recognition of minority communities, and the negative representations of the Tamil community in particular, that appear in these textbooks are not compatible with the proclaimed vision of a multicultural yet integrated society. Instead of fostering social cohesion, these textbooks may deepen ethnic divides and stereotypes, and therefore thwart reconciliation and long-term peace.
Christiane Hintermann, Christa Markom, Heidemarie Weinhäupl, and Sanda Üllen
This article examines how the topics of migration, cultural diversity, and discrimination are depicted in current Austrian school textbooks and how they are discussed and perceived by pupils of different age groups attending different types of schools. The discussion concentrates on three main issues: the representation of migration as problematic; the use, critical or otherwise, of specific terms; and whether the history of migration to and from Austria is represented and perceived as part of a common Austrian history. Alongside the findings of the textbook analysis, we show how the involvement of pupils in textbook and migration research can contribute to the production of scientific knowledge in this area.
Katalin Eszter Morgan
Since the 1990s researchers have explored the design features of instructional texts from a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective. This article draws on their work in order to formulate analytical questions. Selected examples from four South African eleventh grade history textbooks are analyzed in an attempt to understand how the application of design principles, or the lack thereof, affects the potential mediating function of the text for historical learning as a whole. The relationship between visual processing and analytical and affective thinking is introduced to the discussion. The article concludes by commenting on the sociocultural context of textbook production.
Sivane Hirsch and Marie McAndrew
This article analyzes the treatment of the Holocaust in Quebec's history textbooks, in view of the subject's potential and actual contribution to human rights education. Given that Quebec's curriculum includes citizenship education in its history program, it could be argued that the inclusion of the Holocaust has particular relevance in this context, as it contributes to the study of both history and civics, and familiarizes Quebec's youth with representations of Quebec's Jewish community, which is primarily concentrated in Montreal. This article demonstrates that the textbooks' treatment of the Holocaust is often superficial and partial, and prevents Quebec's students from fully grasping the impact of this historical event on contemporary society.
Alexander König and Daniel Bernsen
Mobile devices enable pupils to decode edificial remains and symbols by spontaneously accessing additional information electronically. This article provides guidelines for mobile learning in history on the basis of mobility and enquiry- and design-based learning. The authors explore ways in which pupils may use their mobile devices to create innovative forms of collaboratively generated products like digital stories or geocaches. By drawing on social networks in order to promote discussion and publications, such products entail social participation and commitment. Mobile history learning also helps pupils to understand public debates about history, memory, and identity.
Discrepancies between Public Discourses and School History Textbooks from 1916 to 1936
This article investigates discrepancies between narratives of national independence in public discourses surrounding the First World War and narratives of loyalty in school textbooks in Queensland, Australia. Five textbooks commonly used in schools from 1916 to 1936 are analyzed in order to ascertain how the First World War was represented to pupils via the history curriculum. This article argues that, although public discourses were in a state of flux, and often viewed Australia as a country that was becoming increasingly independent of its colonial ruler Great Britain, textbooks that maintained a static view continued to look to Great Britain as a context in which to teach national history to school pupils.
Two Case Studies of (Grand) Narratives from and of the German Democratic Republic in Current Oberstufe Textbooks
Elizabeth Priester Steding
Much like history textbooks, literature textbooks produce a grand narrative, telling a nation's story via its literature. This article examines the presentation of literature of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in upper level secondary school (Oberstufe) textbooks published in Germany in 2009 and 2010. Twenty years after German unification, literature textbooks are largely divided into two groups in accordance with their handling of literature from the failed socialist state: some focus on ideological criticism of the GDR, and some choose to avoid politics as much as possible. Both options result in a simplistic, even reductionist (grand) narrative of GDR literature. Case studies on Christa Wolf and Günter Grass reveal a consistent, positive portrayal of West German literature and a polarized representation of GDR literature.
Ein politikwissenschaftlicher Vorschlag zur qu
Andreas Slopinski and Torsten J. Selck
How Do We Detect Value Judgements in Textbooks? A Proposal, from the Field of Political Sciences, to Analyse Textbooks Quantitatively with Reference to the Example of European Integration
Das Aufdecken und Analysieren von normativen Wertungen ist eine wichtige Aufgabe der Schulbuchforschung, der es jedoch bislang an geeigneten Verfahren mangelte, um reliable und valide Ergebnisse hervorzubringen. Allzu oft sind Schulbuchanalysen deskriptiv und subjektiv. Dieser Aufsatz erörtert das Potenzial der computerunterstützten quantitativen Inhaltsanalyse, um dieses Problem zu beheben. Basierend auf politikwissenschaftlichen Untersuchungen argumentieren wir, dass sich vor allem das Softwarepaket “Wordfish” als Verfahren für die Analyse von Autorentexten hierfür anbieten würde.
The Case of Kidz in da Hood (Förortsungar, 2006)
Anders Wilhelm Åberg
Swedish children's films frequently deal with issues of nation and ethnicity, specifically with “Swedishness”. This may be most obvious in films based on the works of Astrid Lindgren, which abound with nostalgic images of the national culture and landscape. However, films about contemporary Sweden, such as Kidz in da Hood (Förortsungar, 2006) address these issues too. Kidz in da Hood is about children in the ethnically diverse suburbs of Stockholm and it tells the story of a young fugitive, Amina, who is cared for by a young bohemian musician. It is, interestingly, a remake of one of the first Swedish children's films, Guttersnipes (Rännstensungar, 1944). In this article I argue that Kidz in da Hood is a contradictory piece, in the sense that it both celebrates and disavows “Swedishness”, as it substitutes the class conict of Guttersnipes for ethnic conflict.