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ERIC Number: EJ953368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0272
Testing Collective Memory: Representing the Soviet Union on Multiple-Choice Questions
Reich, Gabriel A.
Journal of Curriculum Studies, v43 n4 p507-532 2011
This article tests the assumption that state-mandated multiple-choice history exams are a cultural tool for disseminating an "official" collective memory. Findings from a qualitative study of a collection of multiple-choice questions that relate to the history of the Soviet Union are presented. The 263 questions all come from New York State Regents exams that were administered between 1980-2010. Test questions were organized by decade, analysed for content, and then synthesized into historical narratives. These narratives were then analysed to see the extent to which they changed as the Soviet Union decayed, collapsed, and then broke up into new nation states. Particular attention was paid to the period that begins with the Cold War and ends with the present situation in post-Soviet Russia. The analysis shows that, despite great upheavals in the history of the Soviet Union, and changes in New York State standards and testing policies, the narrative that exists on these exam questions largely remains the same. This suggests that official narratives are slow to change. Further research should look at the extent to which test-taker knowledge and acceptance of official narratives affect performance on multiple-choice history items. (Contains 1 note, 3 tables, and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; Russia; USSR
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: New York State Regents Examinations