At the end of the Second World War, education was seen by the Allies as a powerful tool in the remaking of postwar Europe. The Allies believed that the denazification, reorientation, and reeducation of Italian and German children through schools and
German Economic History The social market economy is the foundation of our country's economic success. 1 —Angela Merkel … an export article made in Germany. 2 —Economics Minister Peter Altmaier on the German economic system
Since the 1990s, political apathy among young people has been a recurrent issue in political science. This article examines, on the basis of a survey of the current debate about political apathy in Germany and an analysis of civic education textbooks for the lower secondary level in Baden-Württemberg, how contemporary German textbooks reflect young people’s interest in politics. This article will show that, while political apathy in textbooks can be explained as the result of either an individual deficit on the part of the reader or a structuralist deficit of the political system, the latter explanation is more likely to encourage critical political thinking among young people in Germany.
This article reviews an extensive study of Israeli secondary school general history curricula and textbooks since the establishment of the state in 1948 until the present day. By analyzing the way in which Germany is presented in various contexts, the findings of the study indicate that, while the textbooks reflect a shift from an early censorious attitude to a factual approach, the curriculum continues to present national Jewish Zionism as the metanarrative. In this context, Germany is framed as a victimizer.
The ban on almost all previously approved textbooks in occupied Germany in 1945 brought about a turning point in the history of reading primers in this country. This article examines the requirements that textbooks had to fulfill in order to be approved by the authorities of the various occupation zones. In spite of differing sociopolitical and pedagogical attitudes and conditions, reading primersin all occupied zones shared the theme of children’s play and harmonious everyday life. However, a comparative analysis of the primers reveals significant differences that cannot be explained exclusively as a consequence of influence exerted by occupying powers. Rather, these differences resulted from the context in which each primer appeared.
Contrasts and Congruence within and between Germany and England
Eleanor Brown, Beatrice Szczepek Reed, Alistair Ross, Ian Davies, and Géraldine Bengsch
This article is based on an analysis of the treatment of the European Union in a sample of textbooks from Germany and England. Following contextual remarks about civic education (politische Bildung) in Germany and citizenship education in England and a review of young people’s views, we demonstrate that textbooks in Germany and in England largely mirror the prevailing political climate in each country regarding Europe. At the same time, the analysis reveals a disparity between the perspectives presented by the textbooks and young people’s views. The textbooks in Germany provide more detail and take a more open approach to Europe than those in England. Finally, we argue that the textbooks may be seen as contributing to a process of socialization rather than one of education when it comes to characterizations of Europe.
Protestantischer Einfluss in griechischen Schulbüchern?
*Full article is in German
English abstract: In the nineteenth century, Anastasios Diomedes Kyriakos, a Greek professor of theology at the newly founded University of Athens, wrote a much heeded scholarly work of Greek ecclesiastical history. Kyriakos had been profoundly influenced by his German Protestant theological predecessors whose ideas, including those about Byzantium, found their way into his work, such that Byzantium was presented as an empire in constant decline. This article addresses the question whether this negative presentation of Byzantium was also adopted in Kyriakos’ school textbooks for ecclesiastical history at a time in which Byzantium was generally perceived proudly as part of Greek national historiography and identity.
German abstract: Anastasios Diomedes Kyriakos, griechischer Theologieprofessor an der neu gegründeten Universität von Athen, verfasste im 19. Jahrhundert ein bedeutsames akademisches Werk für Kirchengeschichte. Sein Werk war sehr stark von seinen deutschen, evangelischen theologischen Vorbildern geprägt, was sich nicht zuletzt bei seiner Byzanz-Darstellung niederschlägt, denn genau wie seine Vorbilder zeichnet er Byzanz als ein Reich im stetigen Verfall. Der vorliegende Aufsatz befasst sich vor allem mit der Frage, ob diese negative Byzanz-Darstellung auch in Kyriakos’ Schulbüchern für Kirchengeschichte tradiert worden ist, in einer Zeit, in der Byzanz eigentlich mit Stolz als Teil der griechischen Nationalgeschichtsschreibung und Identität betrachtet wurde.
Is Multiperspectivity an Adequate Response?
This article raises the question of how German textbooks should deal with issues of migration as one of the main challenges in a globalizing age. In order to prepare the ground for a well-founded answer it follows a twofold agenda. In a rst step, previous attempts at analyzing textbook representations of migration are critically scrutinized and read against the background of current debates on methodological approaches to textbook research. In a second step, anthropological research on the structure of public German discourses on migration is cited as a key to developing a truly multiperspectival mode of representing it. Ultimately, the article demonstrates that education alone cannot be given the responsibility of clarifying questions that politics have failed to articulate and that pupils must be taught to participate competently in the discourse on migration policy. They should be familiarized with the various positions advocated in the political sphere, and simultaneously equipped with the necessary tools for critical re ection.
Brandt's Ostpolitik, the German-Polish History Textbook Commission, and Conservative Reaction
Prior to the late 1960s, German history textbooks lacked coverage of Poland and depicted Germany's eastern neighbor with negative images. The 1970s and 1980s, however, witnessed positive changes to the contents of German school textbooks—particularly with respect to their descriptions of Poland and German-Polish relations. How and why did Germany promote a more reflective view of history and correct negative descriptions of the Poles in German history textbooks between the 1970s and 1980s? This article addresses this question by focusing on the influence of Brandt's Ostpolitik and on the activities of the German-Polish History Textbook Commission. The article also shows how contemporary conservative reaction was not powerful enough to reverse these positive changes to German history textbooks.
The Struggle for Discursive Shifts in History Education
This article traces discursive shifts in the ways in which imperialism and European colonialism have been dealt with in the classroom in relation to the German history textbook Time for History (Zeit für Geschichte), which was published in 2010. It explores how the textbook’s representation of German colonial rule in present-day Namibia both raises awareness of and reproduces common colonialist-racist images of the “other” by demonstrating how its content is negotiated in year-nine history lessons, as observed over the course of an ethnographic study carried out in a German secondary school. The author assesses the complex interplay between discursive practices of negotiation, everyday educational practices and deeply rooted, colonialist-racist images of the “other” and, on the basis of this interplay, analyses how difficult it is to bring about content-based and discursive shifts in the classroom.