The transition of history education and history textbooks in europe from a nationalist discourse to a wider european-ness discourse
Özyürek, Pınar (2006) The transition of history education and history textbooks in europe from a nationalist discourse to a wider european-ness discourse. [Thesis]
The objective of this thesis is to explore the problematic nature of European history through the history education in the European Union member states and the impact of history education on the emergence of a wider European-ness discourse in education system of which the teaching methods, materials and teaching mentalities are still mostly nationalistic. It aims to suggest possible ways to the change of nationalist history education and history textbooks in European countries and transition to a wider European-ness perspective/discourse. The thesis is organized around three different levels of research. The first one is the historical and theoretical studies of concepts such as nationalism, historiography and the concept of “Europe”. The second level of research is about the real-life practices and reflections of the theoretical concepts to history education. Here, the relationship between nationalism, education and modernity is looked at; European history education, students’ and teachers’ perceptions of history, its aims and methodologies are evaluated through the Youth and History survey; history education and school history textbooks are studied nation by nation and lastly history textbooks in Europe are investigated to reach a complete evaluation of history education system. This level also included the Council of Europe’s views, activities and initiatives in history education in Europe. Plus, several other initiatives including transnational and independent ones are studied to reflect the institutional attempts in Europe for the emergence of a wider European-ness perspective. The last level included what a wider European-ness perspective in history education means or should be, and the necessary content-related and more importantly, methodologyrelated changes in history education in Europe. In short, this thesis argued the way towards a wider European discourse in history education in Europe can be reached through efficient and critical use of available materials and through not the construction of a new discourse of writing history but “reading” history.
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