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ERIC Number: EJ1118087
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1618-5293
Unintended Revelations in History Textbooks: The Precarious Authenticity and Historical Continuity of the Slovak Nation
Šulíková, Jana
Journal of Social Science Education, v15 n3 p26-39 Fall 2016
Purpose: This article proposes an analytical framework that helps to identify and challenge misconceptions of ethnocentrism found in pre-tertiary teaching resources for history and the social sciences in numerous countries. Design: Drawing on nationalism studies, the analytical framework employs ideas known under the umbrella terms of primordialism, constructivism and ethno-symbolism. In applying it, the conceptualisation of the Slovak nation, as presented in the history textbooks currently used in lower secondary schools in Slovakia, is examined as a case study. Findings: A conceptually inconsistent picture emerges from the findings, displaying prevailing patterns of primordialism and a degree of ethno-symbolism. Nevertheless, the article concludes that history textbooks lend, on a number of occasions, unintended support to constructivism. Hence, both this inconsistency in theoretical approach, and frequent use of problematic assumptions based on primordialism and ethno-symbolism show that the attempts of textbooks' authors to demonstrate the authenticity and historical continuity of the Slovak nation remain precarious. Research implications: The analytical framework used in this article is well-suited for multi-country examinations of national narratives in curricula and textbooks of history and the social sciences. Practical implications: Teaching materials and pedagogic approaches drawing on constructivism could enhance critical engagement with ethnocentrism in Slovakia and beyond.
Journal of Social Science Education. Bielefeld University Faculty of Sociology, Universitätsstraße 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany. Tel: +49-521-106-3985; Fax: +49-521-106-153986; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Slovakia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A