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Civil War as a Curricular Dilemma
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The underlying premise of this study is that (20th century) civil war is a problematic topic to address in history textbooks. The problem that this paper highlights is that textbooks are per se consensus-oriented and have the overarching aim of maintaining or producing a conception of a unified society. The fact that civil war divides a population in two or more parties is in this perspective a problem, especially if you consider textbook content in relation to pupils whose ancestors and relatives have experiences from the era of the Finish and Spanish civil war.


In the light of this perspective, the paper focuses on what textbook strategies that are used in order to deal with the inherent national conflict theme which is at stake in chapters dealing with civil wars in Finish and Spanish history textbooks. Methodologically and theoretically the paper takes as its starting point that curricula and textbooks are authoritative texts expressing the dominant ideology in a community and as such help to maintain and negotiate certain views on historical events and processes. Although this assumption is an established idea in curriculum studies the paper focuses on differences in textbook material which have ideological implications and hypothetical impact on pupils understanding of the civil war. The results presented in this paper are preliminary of an on going study which includes Finish and Spanish history textbooks and curricula published between 1993 and 2007. The results show that there are similar strategies in how Spanish and Finish textbooks deal with the conflict theme. There are also national differences and quite significant ideological differences especially in the Finish textbook materials.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
curriculum, history textbooks, civil war
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-197350OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-197350DiVA: diva2:612702
Nordisk pedagogisk konferens NFPF 2013 Reykjavik
Available from: 2013-03-24 Created: 2013-03-24 Last updated: 2013-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Mattlar, Jörgen
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