Textbooks round the world: It ain’t necessarily so | The Economist

For history buffs, an interesting survey of world textbooks, and how they reflect and influence the societies they serve. Some good examples cited from a wide range of countries. One of the better books I have read is The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan, which most countries grapple with as they balance historical balance with the reinforcement of national narratives. Sample quote from The Economist article:

As indeed will the power of teachers—whose prejudices may often be just as ingrained as those found in textbooks, and rather harder to pin down. Henning Hues, a researcher at the Georg Eckert Institute, has studied South African textbooks and teaching. In one class he observed, a book issued since the rise to power of the African National Congress featured a picture of Nelson Mandela with, alongside it, a question about why the country’s first black president was a hero. The teacher, a white Afrikaans-speaker a few years away from retirement, ignored the task set and described Mr Mandela as an armed guerrilla and assassin.

Textbooks round the world: It ain’t necessarily so | The Economist.


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