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The Contemporary Turn: Debate, Curricula and Swedish Students’ History
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier. (History and Education)
2012 (English)In: Journal of Educational Media, Memory and Society, ISSN 2041-6938, E-ISSN 2041-6946, Vol. 4, no 1, 40-60 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the Swedish media during 2010 a proposal for a new syllabus for history was criticized for emphasizing contemporary history at the expense of ancient history. The present study shows how UNESCO and the Council of Europe’s guidelines, like the national curriculum and guidelines and students’ work since the 1950s, have increasingly focused on contemporary history. In the 1930s graduating students chose to focus mainly on the early modern era, but from 1950 contemporary history became more and more dominant in students’ work. Even though history and civics were given separate status as school subjects in 1961, students’ work in history continued to focus contemporary subjects. This study shows that the dominance of contemporary history in students’ history is by no means a new phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berghahn Journals , 2012. Vol. 4, no 1, 40-60 p.
Keyword [en]
UNESCO, Council of Europe, curriculum, history teaching, debate, teachers, students, contemporary history.
National Category
History Didactics
Research subject
didactics of history; didactics of history
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-259999DOI: 10.3167/jemms.2012.040104OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-259999DiVA: diva2:845972
History Beyond Borders
Available from: 2015-08-13 Created: 2015-08-13 Last updated: 2015-08-13

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Nygren, Thomas
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