Daniel Halliday
Feb 22 · Last update 1 day ago.
Could other countries benefit from international history textbook collaboration?
Since 2006, in an effort to create a shared view of history, France and Germany have co-published a series of history textbooks for school students called ‘Histoire/Geschichte’. The books are an effort to address negative preconceptions that may be harboured by both countries as a result of mutual ignorance. Since this series' creation many other countries have followed suit, with Germany/Czech Republic, Germany/Poland and Slovakia/Hungary all attempting a similar series. Could other countries benefit from a “shared vision” of history similar to France and Germany’s?
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No, thinking this will solve social problems is belittling students and teachers
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No, the problem is not with the books but lack of a diverse exposure to ideas
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Yes, a shared view of history could lead to peace
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No, thinking this will solve social problems is belittling students and teachers

Both will have their own unique individual interpretation of all subjects, textbooks are just a vehicle for facilitating evidence gathering and activities in class. Real discussion will take place in the classroom and that’s where ideas will be challenged or accepted. Students are individuals and their political outlook is probably already cemented from their home lives, coming directly from or in opposition to family or parents. To think that changing one textbook to a more shared positive view can change the multitude of different views, on such a wide range of topics that the subject of history often relates to, is short sighted to say the least. tes.com/news/teachers-bin-your-textbooks-says-us-government-official

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No, the problem is not with the books but lack of a diverse exposure to ideas

The stripping down of high school students experience to using one source in the form of one course textbook doesn’t prepare students for real research work or the real world, and is only going to indoctrinate them into the thinking and presentation of one narrative of history. Countries collaborating on joint singular narratives of history will not solve the problem of the lack of exposure to the truly diverse nature of opinions surrounding such subjects as history. Just like government involvement in textbook creation would create less of a history resource, more of a propaganda document, the process itself of using singular resources is what fails to enable students to properly tackle deep seated issues. Such failures then go unquestioned as students eventually enter wider society.

teachervision.com/curriculum-planning/textbooks-advantages-disadvantages

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Yes, a shared view of history could lead to peace

This will not only help to breakdown cultural barriers somewhat, but also provide students with a less closed off mindset of their shared history with their neighbouring countries. If France and Germany, two countries that have shared a great historical animosity and fought many wars, can agree enough to the point of sharing similar history course textbooks for students when many more countries could make the move to try and integrate their neighbours view of history. Ideas like this could help to begin challenging the destructive forces of nationalism and historical revisionism.

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