The globalizing world with its entanglements and multiple interactions, shifting notions of place and time, unifying as well as fragmenting tendencies, new forms of boundary drawing, and old and new lines of conflict, influences our lives and public awareness in the “information age.” As far as education is concerned, this situation demands a critical stock taking and new reference frames for understanding this globalizing world, which on the one hand provides great new opportunities and on the other hand generates enormous risks. It requires teachers to offer guidance and teaching materials to provide young people with orientation. Rapidly shifting contexts demand new abilities to act and to maneuver. Collectives and individuals are equally impacted by the uneven processes that are customarily summarized as “globalization.” To understand what is happening in this complex world is crucial. From the perspective of old or insuffi cient reference frames, the world will seem erratic, unpredictable, and arbitrary. Schools as the transmitters of knowledge and as socializing agencies play a crucial role in preparing young people for this world of multiple modernities and development. It is their responsibility to provide orientation and guidance. How well they do this depends on any number of factors, and not least on the quality of educational materials. Such materials, however, are frequently more than simply educational media. They are sources via which the societies in which they are produced and put to use may be understood.
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