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Challenging Substantive Knowledge in Educational Media

A Case Study of German History Textbooks

Lucas Frederik Garske

Abstract

Many scholars working on history education have stressed that, in order to “do history,” a congruent relation between substantive and procedural knowledge is required. In response to this argument, this article emphasizes the need to consider pupils’ relations to substantive knowledge. With reference to history textbooks currently used in Germany, it demonstrates how the introduction of substantive knowledge with the help of the logic of “historical thinking” derived from expert discourses may obstruct the process of historical thinking. Finally, the article presents alternative approaches and their possible consequences for history education.