London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The ideological and political role of the school textbook in constructing national memory

Author(s) Keith Crawford  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2000  
Editor Alistair Ross, Curricula for Citizenship in Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
Comments: This paper claims that school textbooks are crucial organs in the process of constructing legitimated ideologies and beliefs and are a reflection of the history, knowledge and values considered important by powerful groups in society. In many nations debates over the content and format of school textbooks are sites of educational and political conflict. The paper argues that school textbook knowledge is socially constructed and that evidence from national education systems strongly suggests that textbook content is manufactured by powerful groups who see it as being central in the creation of particular forms of collective national memory designed to meet specific cultural, economic and social goals. Based upon this analysis, a possible framework for the critical analysis of textbook construction is identified and possible areas for investigation offered with the aim of making more visible and transparent the cultural, ideological and political motives of domin! ant groups.

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