South-East Europe Textbook Network




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Recent Publications

Minderheiten im Schulbuch: Südosteuropa / Minorities in textbooks: South-East Europe

Internationale Schulbuchforschung / International Textbook Research, Zeitschrift des Georg-Eckert-Instituts, Heft 2/ 2001, eds.: Heike Karge and Andreas Helmedach

Internationale Schulbuchforschung / International Textbook Research is the journal published by the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research. The content of this journal’s issue is dedicated to minorities in the school textbooks of South East Europe.

List of contents of the last journal's issue:


Koren, Snježana: Minorities in Croatian history and geography textbooks


This article analyses the presentation of minorities in Croatian history and geography textbooks for elementary schools. It is based on the most recently issued textbooks for the 6th, 7th and 8th grades, which cover the period from the early Middle Ages to the present. The focus is placed on the relations between Croats and Serbian minority in Croatia, but other minorities (Italians, Germans, Hungarians, Jews) are also included. The author gives a few remarks about the place of history in the Croatian educational system and about the approval procedure and publication of history textbooks. She also takes into account some problems about history teaching raised from current history curricula.

Janjetoviæ, Zoran: National minorities and non-Slav neighbours in Serbian textbooks


The author of this article analyses the presentation of national minorities and of the most important events from the history of relations of the South Slavs with their non-Slav neighbours in Serbian history textbooks of the 1918-2000 period.

Low-Beer, Ann: Politics, school textbooks and cultural identity. The struggle in Bosnia and Hercegovina


In every society, school textbooks in subjects such as literature, history, geography, art and music both assume and seek to teach the political and social norms of that society. Bosnia-Hercegivina is currently a striking example, since the norms at a local level are not consonant with the political framework established by the Dayton peace treaty. There the international authorities have introduced some extraordinary measures intended to remedy the situation. The textbooks used in the schools literally bear the marks of a battle over what cultural and political norms should be assumed.

Murgescu, Mirela-Luminiþa: The history of minorities in the Romanian school system. Curricula and textbooks in the late 1990s


The author analyses the portrayal of the history of national minorities in contemporary Romanian school textbooks for political education, geography, and history. She places special emphasis on the tension between the demands on the new curricula to present a balanced picture of Romania’s national diversity, and the refusal of many textbooks authors to abandon the paradigm of an organically grown, homogeneous Romanian nation. The concrete analysis, especially in regard to history textbooks, presents various standpoints of textbook authors, the relatively slow progress of renewal, and the widely spread resistance toward divergence from the established historical self-portraits. It also shows how many authors actively undermine the demands and the spirit of the new curricula. Furthermore, the conceptual lacks of the new subject “history and traditions of national minorities” are discussed.

Liakova, Marina: Das Bild des Osmanischen Reiches und der Türken (1396-1878) in ausgewähkteb bukgaruschen Schulbüchern für Geschichte / The portrayal of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey (1396-1878) in selected Bulgarian school textbooks for history


In this article, the historical preconditions for the contemporary attitudes of Bulgarians toward Turks are analysed. Despite the democratisation tendencies in Bulgaria since 1989, opinion polls are reflecting a continually negative view of the Turkish in the attitudes of the Bulgarians. Especially significant in this context is the specific historical portrayal of the Turkish pertaining to the common past of Bulgarians and Turks, which is now taking on an official status - the portrayal of the times of the Ottoman Empire in history school textbooks. The official history of a nation and how it is presented in school history textbooks is, in one way or another, an interpretation of the past from a contemporary point of view (this always includes certain values, especially political ones). The social and political constellation of the present, to put it in the words of Pierre Bourdieu - the “symbolic struggles” of the present - influence the chances for a discourse to become the official discourse of a state. From this theoretical perspective, the changes in the “official discourse” in school textbooks pertaining to the history of Bulgaria are explained.

Weber, Claudia: Wandertage, Museen und Kliment-Bäume. Zur Erinnerungskultur an bulgarischen Schulen / Excursion days, museums, and “Kliment-Trees”. Memory culture at Bulgarian schools


There is a striking lack of fervent nationalist propaganda in Bulgarian history textbooks of the 19th and early 20th centuries. How, if not through the study of textbooks, did a child then become nationalist? The author of this article outlines alternative methods of “identity management” at Bulgarian schools up to the 1930s, showing that nation-building went beyond school teaching in the classroom. Three of those methods - school excursions, school museums and the celebration of national holidays - seemed to be the focus of identity policies. Especially the “Cyrill and Method Day” provided the state with an already functioning form of nation-building, by reinforcing familiar rituals of local communication and the image of school and education as part of the nation’s proud. Throughout decades, children experienced themselves as heirs of that particular cultural tradition triggering their national socialisation.

Fickenscher, Daniel: Das Schulwesen und di Schulbücher für die mazedonische Minderheit in Albanien / The school system and school textbooks for the Macedonian minority in Albania


There exists a small minority of Slav Macedonians within the borders of the Republic of Albania. In a few villages near Lake Prespa, where there is a compact settlement of Macedonians, there are schools teaching in Macedonian. The state-controlled Albanian publisher for school textbooks produces numerous textbooks in Macedonian language for use in these schools. Since the fall of communism in Albania, these books have been developed in co-operation with, and with the financial support of the Macedonian Ministry of Education. Besides being guaranteed by law, the rights of the Macedonian minority at the Albanian shore of Prespa Lake are thus guaranteed both in theory and in practice within the educational sphere through the supply of these school textbooks.


Richter, Steffi: Not only a storm in the waterglas: Japan's latest conflict over school textbooks

UNESCO International Textbook Research Network

Reviews / Recenzije

Reports / Izvješæa

Further information about this issue is available on the web-site of the Georg Eckert Institute: