ERIC Number: ED470391
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The European Home: Representations of 20th Century Europe in History Textbooks.
Using a cross-section of European secondary school history textbooks, a study examined general developments in the presentation of history over the last decades. Three to 5 textbooks from 13 European countries were examined. Until the mid-1960s textbooks were primarily concerned with the history of the particular state or nation, but over the last 20 years, textbooks have dwelt more on general issues. Findings present an overview of how certain aspects of European history are covered. Some of the topics are taken from the darker side of Europe's past and include occupation policy, the Holocaust, genocide, and war. Other topics deal with textbook market structures, the space allotted to regional, national, European, and world history. The importance of textbook layouts is examined. Tasks assigned to students are reviewed to see whether they develop key skills of critical investigation or encourage students to digest pre-structured knowledge. Relevant to European integration is the issue of what Europe and the European dimension mean to young people; what key concepts are in the circles of pan-European decision makers that are sometimes undefined; and underlying assumptions in history textbooks. If the multi-perspective nature of Europe is to be grasped, then it must encompass more than a sum of European institutions. A definition and discussion of Europe should be brought to the forefront. Ways and means to help young people perceive Europe as having a meaningful and positive role in their daily lives are recommended. Includes notes, four tables, and textbook illustrations. Appended are sample contents pages, a list of textbooks analyzed, and project information. (BT)
Descriptors: Content Analysis, European History, Foreign Countries, Geographic Regions, History Textbooks, Perspective Taking, Secondary Education, Student Needs, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Textbook Research
Council of Europe, 67075 Strasbourg, Cedex, France. Tel: 33-3-88-41-20-00; Web site: http://www.coe.int.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Europe, Strasbourg (France).