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School History Textbooks across Cultures
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Oxford Studies in Comparative Education

School History Textbooks across Cultures

international debates and perspectives


2006 paperback 124 pages, £24.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-50-2

However, it is still available immediately as an eBook: please click on the links below to Amazon Kindle and/or Google Books.

About the book

What do school history textbooks mean in the contemporary world? What issues and debates surround their history and production, their distribution and use across cultures? This volume brings together articles by authors from the United States, Italy, Japan, Germany, France, Russia and England, each piece drawing attention to a series of fascinating yet highly specific national debates. In this collection, perspectives on the place and purpose of school history textbooks are shown to differ across space and time. For the student or scholar of comparative education this compilation raises important methodological questions concerning the grounds and parameters upon which it is possible to make comparisons.


Jason Nicholls. Introduction. School History Textbooks across Cultures from the Perspective of Comparative Education

Stephen J. Thornton. What Is History in US History Textbooks?

Luigi Cajani. Italian History Textbooks on the Brink of the Twenty-first Century

Masato Ogawa & Sherry L. Field. Causation, Controversy and Contrition: recent developments in the Japanese history textbook content and selection process

Falk Pingel. Reform or Conform: German reunification and its consequences for history schoolbooks and curricula

Marina Erokhina & Alexander Shevyrev. Old Heritage and New Trends: school history textbooks in Russia

Keith Crawford & Stuart Foster. The Political Economy of History Textbook Publishing in England

Marie-Christine Baquès. History Textbooks in France: between national institutions, publishers and teaching practice


Marie-Christine Baquès teaches in the department of history and geography at Instituts Universitaries de Formation des Maîtres (IUFM) in Auvergne, after a long career teaching at a technical Lycée in Paris. In addition to this, she participates in the organisation of Master’s degrees in History Didactics at the University of Paris VII and at the University of Tunis I. Her research interests include the study of art, images, history and history textbooks. Together with Annie Bruter and Nicole Tutiaux-Guillon she published Pistes didactiques et chemins d’historiens: textes offerts à Henri Moniot in 2003.

Luigi Cajani teaches History Didactics at the Facoltà di Scienze Umanistiche of the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ and at the SSIS Lazio (Postgraduate School for Teacher Training). By appointment to the Italian Ministry of Education, he coordinated the 2001 committee that shaped the newly reformed school curriculum for history, geography and social science education in Italy. He is a member of the Wissenschaftlicher Ausschuß of the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, Germany, and a member of the Board of the International Society for History Didactics.

Keith Crawford is Reader in Education at Edge Hill College of Higher Education, United Kingdom, where he coordinates courses in textbook analysis, educational politics and policy-making and supervises doctoral students. His research interests focus upon international school textbook analysis, particularly history and citizenship textbooks. Dr Crawford edits the international journal Citizenship, Social and Economics Education and is Director of TEXT, the Centre for Applied Research in Textbook Analysis based at Edge Hill College. He is currently working on the politics and ideology of memory through cross-cultural comparisons of Chinese and Japanese history textbooks.

Marina Erokhina is Associate Professor of Education at the History Faculty of Pskov State Pedagogical University, Russia, and a Dean of the Teacher Training Faculty. Since 1998 she has been involved in several international projects on history education, and is author of numerous publications on the learning and teaching of history. Her research interests include strategies for teaching history, with a specific focus on the development of historical empathy.

Sherry L. Field is Professor of Social Studies Education and Curriculum Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She serves as Director of Apprentice Teaching in the EC-4 Program and is a Warren Faculty Fellow and Dean’s Fellow. Dr Field has been President of the Society for the Study of Curriculum History, Chair of CUFA (College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies) Board of Directors, and Chair of the Research in Social Studies Education Special Interest Group of the American Education Research Association. Having visited Japan twice as a Keizai Koho Center Fellow, Dr Field has written curriculum on Japan for elementary school teachers. In addition, she is the senior author of the Harcourt Horizons elementary social studies textbook series. Her research interests include curriculum history and elementary social studies curriculum and instruction.

Stuart Foster is Senior Lecturer in History in Education at the Institute of Education, University of London where he is Course Leader for the MA in Education (Citizenship, History and RE) and a supervisor of doctoral students. His research interests include the teaching, learning and assessment of history and social studies, the history of education, comparative education, curriculum studies and school history textbooks. Recent publications include Red Alert!: Educators confront the Red Scare in American public schools, 1947–1954, and Historical Empathy and Perspective Taking in the Social Studies (with O.L. Davis, Jr. and Elizabeth Yeager).

Jason Nicholls is a researcher at the Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and a member of St Cross College. He is currently involved in an Economic and Social Research Council-funded project involving the development of methodologies to compare World War II in school history and social studies education across international contexts. His interests include philosophy of comparative education, foreign language acquisition and comparative methodology, new educational media in history and social studies education, globalisation issues in education, and peace education. Before commencing his doctorate he taught at schools, colleges and universities in the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Argentina and the USA. He contributes to the teaching of comparative and international education at the University of Oxford.

Masato Ogawa is Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at Indiana University Kokomo, USA. His research interests include learning and teaching of history, historical perspective-taking, comparative textbook analyses, issues facing foreign teachers in US classrooms, multicultural education, service learning and Japanese education.

Falk Pingel is Deputy Director of the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig, Germany. An advisor on various German curriculum committees in the field of history and social studies education, his advice has been frequently sought by foreign ministries of education, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. From January 2003 to January 2004 he was Director of Education to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. His particular field of research and expertise is the Nazi era, modern German and European history. Dr Pingel teaches various courses in contemporary history, as well as in the theory and pedagogy of history at universities in Germany and abroad.

Alexander Shevyrev is Associate Professor of Russian History in the History Faculty of Moscow State Lomonosov University. From 1992 to 2002 he was head of the Department of Historical Education at the Moscow Institute for Development of Educational Systems (MIROS). Since 1997 he has served as president of the Moscow Association of History Teachers and since 2002 has been the coordinator of international projects on the teaching of history in Russia’s multicultural society. He has published widely on the problems of Russian history and history education and is currently engaged in research on the Russian metropolitan culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Stephen J. Thornton is Professor and Chair of the Department of Secondary Education at the University of South Florida in Tampa. His scholarly interests focus on how teachers function as curricular-instructional gatekeepers and the ramifications for curriculum development and teacher education. He is author of Social Studies That Matter: curriculum for active learning (Teachers College Press, 2005), co-editor of The Curriculum Studies Reader (2nd edition, Routledge, 2004), and contributing author to the 6th-grade textbook, Horizons World History (Harcourt, 2005). He is currently working on a book about geography in American education.

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