Textbooks as Mediators in the Intellectual Project of History Education

Textbooks as Mediators in the Intellectual Project of History Education

Artikel-Nr.: 9783863760434

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How can a tool for analysing history textbooks be developed from sociocultural theory? How can such a tool be applied to a sample of ten grade 11 South African history textbook chapters, which deal with the history of race and racism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? This volume explores the theoretical development and practical application of a five-dimensional model for history textbook analysis. It draws on interdisciplinary concepts such as higher order mental functions, empathy, author positioning, narratives, and visual grammar for text design. Many of these concepts echo some of the underlying principles of the history curriculum. The analysis shows that despite a common curriculum, textbook chapters adopted very different approaches to the topic studied. Many of the textbook chapters positioned their envisaged textual community towards citizenship education rather than pursuing history as a process of discovery. The strong theoretical approach to history textbook analysis implies that the model could be adapted to other contexts, content areas, and educational media within or possibly even beyond the discipline of history.

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