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Jingyi Li

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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Migration in German Textbooks

Is Multiperspectivity an Adequate Response?

Barbara Christophe

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.

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"We Need to Get Away from a Culture of Denial"?

The German-Herero War in Politics and Textbooks

Lars Müller

The question of whether the German-Herero War (1904-1907) may be called a genocide has been debated in German politics for over twenty years. This article explores the representations of this event in German history textbooks in the context of this ongoing debate. Textbooks are not merely the end product of a negotiation process. Rather, as media and objects of memory politics, they are part of a societal negotiation process to determine relevant knowledge. Changes made to textbooks in relation to this controversial topic take place in very short periods of time and often go beyond what appears to meet with mutual agreement in the political sphere.

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Andreas Weiß

This article investigates representations of East Asia in the geography textbooks of the Wilhelmine Empire. This region was of central importance for the imagination of the Empire and for its position in the international balance of power. China and Japan were oft-mentioned regions,1 and were most frequently included in textbooks as a result of political crises and armed conflicts. As a result, the subject of geography repeatedly aired debates and trends from both colonial and scientific fields, and textbooks reflected the broader social positions of the day.

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Verena Stürmer

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.

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To Bridge Time

Historical Consciousness in Swedish History Textbook

Niklas Ammert

Since the early 1990s, the concept of historical consciousness has been central to didactic research in Sweden. It has mostly been used as a theoretical framework on a macro-level or as an attempt to identify students' historical consciousness. This article applies the theoretical concept of historical consciousness to tangible source material: history textbooks from the twentieth century. It focuses on whether Swedish history textbooks for lower secondary school have articulated contexts that may be conducive to developing historical consciousness. The article employs a number of theoretical concepts—narratives, multichronology, identity, and values—in order to analyze perspectives that can be utilized to trigger historical consciousness.

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Imagining the Textbook

Textbooks as Discourse and Genre

Eleftherios Klerides

This article examines textbooks, especially history textbooks, seeking to contribute to an emerging body of scholarship that endeavors to understand the nature, specific properties, and characteristics of this medium. Using systemic functional linguistics and a context-based perspective of language as its theoretical point of departure, it argues for a dual imagining of the textbook as discourse and genre. In imagining the textbook, the article calls for a rethinking of comparative textbook research in the future, based on a novel cluster of conceptual priorities deriving from postmodern thought.

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Eckhardt Fuchs

The words “textbook revision” immediately conjure up certain images. We generally think of conflicts surrounding the contents of textbooks, conflicts which are debated in public and usually have an international dimension. Textbook revision generally refers to books on history, geography and social studies, occasionally also religion or biology. It generally relates to those activities aimed at correcting false or distorted interpretations in school textbooks. In addition, it involves two further aspects: improving the quality of teaching with revised textbooks, and conveying universal norms in addition to knowledge of the subject. History and social studies teaching can thus make an important contribution to peace and human rights education.

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How Do Students Rate Textbooks?

A Review of Research and Ongoing Challenges for Textbook Research and Textbook Production

Petr Knecht and Veronika Najvarová

This article argues in favor of including students in textbook research. As teachers decide which textbooks to use in their classrooms, they are the ones who influence textbook development. The article presents a research review of students' evaluations of textbooks, demonstrating that inviting students into the debate may result in interesting stimuli for improving textbooks. The article also discusses suggestions based on student feedback.

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Monica Reichenberg

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.