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ERIC Number: EJ1177426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1323-577X
Secondary History Teachers' Responses to Historical Narratives in School History Textbooks: The Russian Federation
Zajda, Joseph; Smith, Ken
Educational Practice and Theory, v35 n2 p27-61 2013
Using a mixed methodologies research method involving a survey and qualitative analysis, the article analyses a survey of Russian history secondary teachers on their perceptions of historical narratives in prescribed history textbooks. This recent survey of secondary history teachers represents one of the first international surveys of history teachers conducted across the Russian Federation (RF). The school history textbooks in the RF represent a clear manifestation of changing ideological discourses in historiography and historical understandings. The questionnaire focused on representations of historical narratives covering the period 1762-2011, dealing with analysis of the success and failures of the Tsarist regime, the Bolshevik regime, and Russian leaders. The respondents were also asked to list up to five significant events in Russian history of the past 100 years that the history textbooks either ignore or under-emphasise. Of the 1,000 possible responses by 200 respondents to five events, the collapse of the USSR, the Civil War, the October Revolution, and political repressions topped the list. Consequently, the main aim of this article is to offer an analysis of the survey, with reference to the nexus between ideology, the state, and nation-building as depicted in current history school textbooks in the RF. In the analysis, the authors use the term 'ideology' as a critical lens. The most important function of ideology, in general, is to legitimise political and social action, by validating its goals and means. The analysis of the survey data demonstrates that there has been a definite ideological shift in interpretation and emphasis of historical narratives. It signals a pronounced exercise in forging a new identity, of nation-building and a positive re-affirmation of the greatness of the present Russian state (Zajda, 2012). In general, school history textbooks and particularly the single history textbook--as demonstrated by the teachers' responses and current government policy on the history national curriculum--represent the ideological role of the state in controlling and determining politically desirable history textbooks in the RF.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia; USSR
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A