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Ad Fontes Digitales!?

Margins of Representation When Incorporating Medieval Sources into a German Digital History Textbook

Andreas Willershausen

Abstract

The publication of the first German-language digital history textbook, mBook: History for the Future (mBook: Geschichte für die Zukunft, Cornelsen Verlag, 2016), drew much critical attention. In 2018, the mBook was awarded the prize for best textbook in the “society” category by the Georg Eckert Institute for its focus on improving learner competence. This article begins by assessing the mBook's gradation feature (which allows for the linguistic gradation of sophisticated textual sources on several learning levels) and the textbook authors’ aspiration to convey methodological competence and foster understanding of unfamiliar topics (Fremdverstehen), with the help of work on documents, and an understanding of historical times far removed from our own. It quantitatively and descriptively assesses textual documents in the chapters about the Middle Ages, while focusing on their textual preparation and digital implementation.

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Haifaa Majadly and Aharon Geva-Kleinberger

Abstract

This article analyzes the contents of Arabic grammar curricula authorized for the upper years of primary school by the ministries of education of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. The article aims to determine the attitudes and rationales behind these curricula, as well as their objectives, the grammatical materials they cover, the amount of time they allocate to the study of grammar, and their educational and pedagogical approach. Drawing on the results of a comparative analysis, the authors propose developmental alternatives to the current curricula. Arabic language instruction in Hebrew language schools in Israel is not addressed. The results of the study suggest that the examined curricula fail to achieve the functional standards for grammar instruction they set for themselves and to integrate the various domains of linguistic study, and that they suffer from other weaknesses that must be addressed.

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Raymond Nkwenti Fru and Johan Wassermann

Abstract

This article explores the representation of identity in selected Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonian history textbooks via their coverage of the reunification of Cameroon. A far-reaching effect of the 1916 Anglo-French partition of German Cameroon and of the reunification of the territory in 1961 is that, in spite of the plurality of precolonial identities, it is the legacies of Anglo-French colonial heritage that seem to be the overwhelming identity indicators in contemporary Cameroon. This content analysis found that the Anglophone history textbook presented a clear Anglophone identity which stood in conflict with the identity promoted by the Francophone textbook, which was characterized by national and colonial Francophone assimilationism. Such representations suggest that the Cameroonian nation state as a colonial geopolitical construct is more imagined than real.

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Migration and Migrants between the Favorable and the Problematic

A Discourse Analysis of Secondary School Turkish History Textbooks from 1966 to 2018

Önder Cetin

Abstract

Migration has significantly shaped the changing demographics of Turkey and the interplay between the self-image of the state and its citizens as elements of nation-building policies, dating back to the late Ottoman period. Although the effects of migration and its representations have been the subject of scholarly studies about collective memory, textbooks have largely been omitted from studies about migration. This article analyzes the topics and discursive strategies used to construct narratives of migration and migrants in secondary-level history textbooks by considering ways in which textbooks construct and transmit collective self-images. Adopting a critical discourse analysis approach, the author demonstrates how topoi are used to present a favorable or problematic image of migration.

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Z. Hidayat and Debra Hidayat

Abstract

This article addresses ways in which members of Generation Z construct identity as techno-entrepreneurs by using livestreaming applications. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative assessments of surveys, interviews, documents, and observations, the authors show how visual and verbal conduct based on expressions, interaction, communication, and transactions was used for informal educational purposes by techno-entrepreneurs in their daily lives. On the micro level, members of Gen Z construct self-images as entertainers and businesspeople who need self-recognition and build relationships with viewers. On the meso level, identity emerges via community cohesiveness and a community of talent, and by streaming pop culture. On the macro level, Gen Z follows social and cultural issues and engages in global citizenship while responding to streaming business opportunities. Livestreaming fosters Gen Z's identity construction and shapes the role of influencers in the development of techno-entrepreneurship.

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Kai Krüger

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.

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Daniela R. P. Weiner

Abstract

During the Allied occupation of the Axis countries, education and the revision of educational materials were seen as a means of ensuring future peace in Europe. Most scholarly literature on this topic has focused on the German case or has engaged in a German-Japanese comparison, neglecting the country in which the textbook revision process was first pioneered: Italy. Drawing primarily on the papers of the Allied occupying military governments, this article explores the parallels between the textbook revision processes in Allied-occupied Italy and Germany. It argues that, for the Allied occupiers involved in reeducation in Italy and Germany, the reeducation processes in these countries were inextricably linked. Furthermore, the institutional learning process that occurred in occupied Italy enabled the more thorough approach later applied in Germany.

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Education, Entertainment, and Indoctrination

Educational Film in Interwar China

Kaiyi Li

Abstract

This article demonstrates how educational film in interwar China served the dual purpose of mass recreation and political indoctrination. It places educational film in China in the context of Chinese tradition and the predominance of utilitarian scholarship. On the one hand, China has a long history of using mass-recreational tools in order to influence and control society. On the other hand, foreign educational films available in the early twentieth century were not attractive to Chinese audiences. Hence, the boundary between recreational and educational film at the time was ambivalent and the combination of recreation, education, and propaganda was reflected both in the phenomenon of showing educational films and in the contents of the films themselves.

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History Teaching and Cultural Hegemony

Representations of the Spanish Civil War in Francoist History Textbooks of the 1960s

Johanna Fricke

Abstract

In the 1960s, facing a series of transformations within Spanish society, the Franco regime modified its self-legitimation strategy and with it its portrayal of the Spanish Civil War. Based on the analysis of nine history textbooks for various levels published between 1954 and 1970, this article demonstrates that, by aiming to neutralize increasing demands for democracy, reconciliation and peace, the Franco regime incorporated elements of the corresponding discourses into its own memory discourse. The later the year of publication and the higher the age of the intended readership, the more signs of this process of incorporation appear in the textbooks. Examples of such traces can be found in the terms used to denote the Spanish Civil War, in the textbooks’ characterizations of the two opposing sides, and in their presentation of both the Francoist governmental system and the development of Spain under Francoism.

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“Hitlermania”

Nazism and the Holocaust in Indian History Textbooks

Basabi Khan Banerjee and Georg Stöber

Abstract

Recent surveys and reports document a growing phenomenon of “Hitlermania” in some parts of India. This article investigates whether the way in which National Socialism is presented in school education has encouraged this development or, on the contrary, has discouraged a positive valuation of the Nazis, including their leader. It analyzes curricula and a sample of school history textbooks published by state and central education boards, which have been used in Indian schools over the last two decades, focusing on their treatment of National Socialism and the Holocaust. While the results can be partly attributed to government interference in the school history curricula and in textbook writing, there appear to have been other factors at play, such as the social environment.