Teachers and the politics of history school textbooks

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The main aim of this chapter is provide a new insight into understanding the nexus between ideology, the state, and nation-building — as depicted in history school textbooks. It especially focuses on the interpretation of social and political change, significant events, looking for possible new biases and omissions, leadership and the contribution of key individuals, and continuities. Nation-building architects make extensive use of history to promote those historical narratives that embody the politically correct teleology of the state (Anderson, 1991; Smith, 2001). It has been suggested that the historiographies of the new states in Eastern Europe (with parallels in the Russian Federation and China), engaging in nation-building process, continue to be essentially ‘monolithic and intolerant to alternative views as those of their communist predecessors, merely exchanging a communist ideological colouring for a national one’ (Janmaat & Vickers, 2007, p. 270). Janmaat argues that the new post-Soviet government in the Ukraine was only too ready to use history education to promote a new sense of nationhood, which would maximise Ukrainian distinctiveness and its cultural significance in the former Soviet Union.


School of Education

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Book Chapter

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ERA Access