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The British Empire and Commonwealth in World War II: Selection and Omission in English History Textbooks

Foster, Stuart (2005) The British Empire and Commonwealth in World War II: Selection and Omission in English History Textbooks. International Journal of Historical Learning Teaching and Research, 5. pp. 1-19. ISSN 1472-9466. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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The study of history through school textbooks arguably is still the predominant medium for classroom learning in England. History textbooks are a powerful influence upon the development of the attitudes, values, perceptions and understanding of young citizens. Nowhere is the role of textbooks in personal orientation more pronounced than in textbooks on the Second World War. The paper analyses the overt and implicit messages that such textbooks present to their readers. The conclusion is pessimistic; textbooks are Anglo-centric within a Euro-centric and Caucasian world picture. They need to reflect a sensitive picture of race and ethnicity, and the relative roles and importance of the nationalities and communities that were actively engaged in the struggle against the Axis powers. As such, they should positively represent the rich and diverse stories of all races that research has revealed to have played a seminal role in The Second World War.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published in the UK’s only internationally peer reviewed journal devoted to history education, this article critically examines the treatment of ethnic and national groups in contemporary history textbooks. The reported research is based on detailed and extensive content and pictorial analysis of a range of popular textbooks used in English secondary schools. Attention is principally given to examining how and, more importantly, why non-white peoples from the British Empire and Commonwealth typically are excluded from accounts of the Second World War. This paper has been closed as the permission of the publisher has not been verified.
Controlled Keywords: British Commonwealth, British Empire, Citizenship, English History, , History teaching, , Identity, , Nationalism, , Racism, , The Second World War, , History textbooks
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Arts and Humanities
IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 12 May 2010 14:11
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:16
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