This expanded table of contents includes an outline and summary for each chapter.

Elizabeth A. Cole, Asia Society, formerly Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

New Understandings of Reconciliation
• A Place to Start: Dictionary Definitions
• The Problem of Christian Overtones
• Components of Reconciliation—Parallel, Constituent, or Clashing?
• Who Are the Actors?
• Recent Contributions to New Understandings of Reconciliation

History Education and Its Relationship to Reconciliation
• Problems with History Education in the Context of Reconciliation
• What History Education Can Contribute to Sociopolitical Reconciliation

Read the complete Introduction. [PDF. 514.98 K)


1. The Trajectory of Reconciliation through History Education in Postunification Germany
Julian Dierkes, University of British Columbia

Background: History Textbooks in the Federal Republic of Germany
• The Trajectory of Postwar Reconciliation Through History Education until German Unification

The Postunification Trajectory of History Education
• Extrapolation of Previous Trends: Two Expectations
• (Geo)Political Changes

Postunification History Textbooks for the Realschule
• Changing Textbook Formats
• Recent Portrayals of the Origins and Rule of National Socialism in History Textbooks
The Weimar Republic
National Socialism

The Past in the Present/The Present in the Past

• An Assertive Germany within the Europeanization of History?
• East German Perspectives in Educational Policies?

Chapter Summary
In the case of Germany, the reconciliation process has been viewed as being successful for the most part. Analysts and commentators tend to focus on history education when looking at shifts in postwar attitudes toward Germany's neighbors. (Many observers feel that teaching materials—because of their wide distribution to students across generations—have considerable sway over public opinion.) In the 1960s, paradigm shifts from national narratives to broad social-scientific historiographies led to a rendering of German history that paved the way for reconciliation. From the early postwar period up to reunification, German teaching materials have included a discussion of wartime atrocities, thus providing a condemnation of the atrocities and recognition of past crimes, as well as a move toward reconciliation.

In this chapter, Julian Dierkes summarizes portrayals of the German nation in teaching materials from 1945 to 1990 that have been seen as contributing toward reconciliation with neighboring countries and other groups. In the postunification period, the author notes that unification has not led to changes in the stand on reconciliation taken by earlier textbooks. He also finds that three trends surfaced in his reading of contemporary textbooks: an inclusion of elements of East German historiography, a continuing Europeanization of history, and a possible dilution of Holocaust commemoration as subnational groups are included among the perpetrators and victims. Paradigm shifts since the 1960s have made the memory narratives more complex and more historically accurate.

2. Advancing or Obstructing Reconciliation? Changes in History Education and Disputes over History Textbooks in Japan
Takashi Yoshida, Western Michigan University

Changes in Education Policy and History Curriculum from the Meiji to the Present: An Overview

Representing the Asia-Pacific War: History Textbooks, Educators, and Japanese Society
• History Textbooks during the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945)
• The U.S. Occupation Period
• The Cold War Years
• "Our Nation Shall Sincerely Listen": The Controversy Intensifies in the 1980s
• Textbooks and History Educators in the Post-Shôwa Period: The 1990s
• Conservative Educators at the Turn of the Millennium: The Publication of Atarashii Rekishi Kyôkasho and Its Influence

Parallel Controversies: Wartime Responsibility in the Courtroom

Conclusion: The Ambiguities of Reconciliation

Chapter Summary
In the post World War II period, the ongoing controversies over history textbooks in Japan have come to mirror the debates and essential problems that Japan confronts as it seeks reconciliation with the nations and peoples it victimized during the War. Changes in history education and debates over how the Asia-Pacific War is portrayed also reflect a division within Japanese society and the impact of Japan's wartime policies as well.

This chapter examines how the Asia-Pacific War is portrayed in Japanese history textbooks, and also looks at factors that still impede reconciliation between Japan and her neighbors. The author offers an overview of changes in education policy and a brief history of the curriculum from the founding of the modern Japanese educational system in the 1860s to the present. This overview is followed by an in-depth discussion of the ways in which the Asia-Pacific war is represented in history textbooks from different periods of Japan's recent history (from during the war up to the present), the debates among educators, and the debates within Japanese society itself. In addition to studying the discussions over history textbooks, the author also looks at the role within the reconciliation process played by the legal battles related to Japan's wartime atrocities. These courtroom battles often have repercussions on the controversies in the Japanese classroom. Although the debate over Japan's wartime history—in the classroom and courtroom—has led to a degree of reflection on the past, the process of reconciliation has been slow, as demonstrated by the ongoing differences between progressives and conservatives in Japan and the lingering mistrust of neighboring nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

3. Representations of Aboriginal People in English Canadian History Textbooks: Toward Reconciliation
Penney Clark, University of British Columbia


The Historical Context: Toward Self-Government
• Setting the Policy Agenda: The Royal Proclamation, 1763
• Assimilation, 1867-1945
• Integration, 1945-1973
• Limited Autonomy, 1973-1990
• Self-Government Since 1990

Aboriginal People in Canada Today

The Role of Textbooks in the Teaching of Canadian History

Textbooks As Sites of Controversy

Depictions of Aboriginal People in Canadian History Textbooks
• Aboriginal Person as "Other": Early to Mid-Twentieth Century
• The Turbulent Decades: The Mid-1960s to the Mid-1980s
• Prevailing Images: The Last Twenty Years
• Contemporary Depictions: Key Categories
Aboriginal People of the More Distant Past, Category One: Spectator
Aboriginal People of the More Distant Past, Category Two: Savage Warrior
Aboriginal People of the More Recent Past and Present, Category One: Exotic
Aboriginal People of the More Recent Past and Present, Category Two: Problem
Aboriginal People of the More Recent Past and Present, Category Three: Uniquely Spiritual
Aboriginal People of the More Recent Past and Present, Category Four: Protestor
Aboriginal People of the More Recent Past and Present, Category Five: Invisible


Chapter Summary
Penney Clark focuses on the treatment of Aboriginals and Aboriginal issues in Canadian history textbooks. Her study, which looks primarily at material from the 1940s to the present, uses illustrations and other images from various textbooks to support her analysis. (This study does not include material from Francophone textbooks.) The chapter covers three major periods: 1911-1931; the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s; and the 1980s to the present. Clarke provides an outline of the history of indigenous and settler relations in Canada, starting in 1763, to give the reader a sense of the challenges researchers face when working through the changing representations, attitudes, and perspectives, as both European settlers and Aboriginal people work to define themselves within Canadian history and society.

Periodically, Canadian textbooks have been at the center of controversy and have been removed from classrooms from time to time. Perceptions of Aboriginal people in the textbooks have changed over the years. In early texts, the depictions of Aboriginal people are negative and the attitudes fluctuate between paternalism and repugnance. The 1960s saw an increase in public interest in the ways marginalized peoples were represented in textbooks. However, studies during this period often contained factual errors, negative stereotypes, and glaring omissions; and although some textbooks were regarded as being better than others, many textbooks were found to be problematic, with inadequate portrayals of Aboriginal people. Later studies in the 1980s contained some improvements, with slightly more positive portrayals. In recent periods, Aboriginal people are viewed from a variety of perspectives (if they are included at all in the texts): for example, they are sometimes seen as spectators, exotic, problematic, and uniquely spiritual. The chapter concludes by noting how textbooks have defined the place of Aboriginal people and Europeans in the historical narrative and by looking at alternative resources for teaching that would give a greater voice to Aboriginal people, such as literature and art.

PART II. RECONCILIATION IN PROCESS4. History Teaching and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland
Alison Kitson, Training and Development Agency for School, United Kingdom

History Education in Northern Ireland: An Overview
• General Education in Northern Ireland
• Curriculum
• History Education in Northern Ireland
• The Key Stage 3 Northern Ireland History Curriculum
• Four Current Challenges and Areas for Debate in Northern Irish History Education

Analysis of Selected History Textbooks
• Context
• Methodology

The Case Studies: History Education in Eight Northern Irish Schools
• Three External Factors
External Factor 1: The Local Community
External Factor 2: Resources
External Factor 3: Historical Significance of the Local Area

• Three Internal Factors
Internal Factor 1: Nature of School Intake
Internal Factor 2: Pupil Misconceptions and Starting Points
Internal Factor 3: Pressure to Make History Popular

• What Were the Teachers' Aims for Teaching History?
Aim 1: So that Pupils Enjoy the Subject and Are Motivated
Aim 2: So that Pupils Understand the Past
Aim 3: So that Pupils Develop Valuable Skills
Aim 4: So that Pupils Develop Certain Values
Aim 5: So that Pupils Understand the World Around Them and Are Better Equipped to Deal with What May Lie Ahead
Aim 6: So that Pupils Develop a Clearer Sense of Their Own Identity
Aim 7: So that Pupils Achieve Highly, Especially in External Examinations


Chapter Summary
History education in Northern Ireland is often praised as being a model for other societies. Children are taught a broadly based common program that allows them access to different perspectives. This chapter draws upon three sets of data collected between June 2002 and September 2003: interviews with administrative officials in Northern Ireland that provided information on the curriculum before 1991; an analysis of ten textbooks for content and pedagogy; and case studies of eight schools, which included lessons observations and interviews with teachers.

Following an overview of general education in Northern Ireland (which is compulsory from age four/five to 16) and the Northern Ireland Curriculum that was introduced in 1991, Alison Kitson looks at issues challenging history education in Northern Ireland. Some of these issues include teachers being somewhat divided about the goals of history teaching, determining the best teaching method to deliver the objectives of the curriculum; uncertainty in teaching controversial subjects; and concern over whether the history curriculum is objective and balanced. The eight case studies provide a cross-section of different schools and help explore factors that shape the history curriculum in Northern Ireland. A set of external and internal factors that affect the way history is taught emerged from the study, as well as teachers' motivations or aims for teaching history.

Based on the data, the author developed several conclusions. There seems to be some discrepancy between the perceived goals of the curriculum and what is taught in the classroom. Textbooks lack an enquiry-based approach, and although they tend to present a well-balanced view of history, the textbooks do not challenge students by asking questions that require more reflection and analysis. Additionally, history education seems to differ from school to school, despite having a common national curriculum. (A school's location and the ability of pupils were the two main factors contributing to these differences.) Finally, although teachers and textbooks are committed to presenting a balance picture of history, the data would suggest that role of history education in the reconciliation process may not be as significant as previously thought in the case of Northern Ireland.

5. The Spanish Civil War and the Franco Dictatorship: The Challenges of Representing a Conflictive Past in Secondary Schools
Rafael Valls, University of Valencia

History Textbooks Under Franco (1939-1975)

History Textbooks During the Democratic Transition (1975-1985)

Contemporary Spanish Textbooks (1990-2003)

Teaching the History of Difficult Times in the Classroom: Views of Students and Teachers

Amnesty and Reconciliation in History Teaching: An Unresolved Issue

Final Considerations

Chapter Summary
The Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship represent a controversial period in Spain's history that has influenced educational politics and the teaching of history. This dramatic period is one that is often treated with particular sensitivity. This chapter looks at how textbooks in Spain treat history by reviewing four general periods: the Spanish Republic, 1931-1939; the civil war, 1946-1939; the Franco dictatorship, 1938-1975; and the contemporary period following the death of Franco in 1975.

Under Franco, school programs were generally unified, with few differences in the way history was taught. The period after Franco's death in 1975 marked the start of a transition away from repression and a move toward a period of "non-confrontation." While textbooks during the Franco period seem to legitimize the military intervention and reforms and lacked much description of the civil war, textbooks during the transitional period introduced material on the civil war years and on the repression that followed. Teaching pedagogy also seemed to change, with a shift away from learning by rote memorization and the use of new manuals and primary sources to encourage analysis by students. The 1990's show further changes in textbook material. No longer are textbooks based on value judgments and moral issues; they now provide a more factual representation of the Second Republic, the Franco years, and the civil war. Rigorous historical analyses and a desire to promote democracy have been the guiding forces behind these changes. Rafael Valls also surveyed students and teachers to see how they view the process in the classroom and to determine the knowledge and values acquired by students who have finished secondary school.

Although accounts of the period between 1931 and 1975 have changed over time—especially during the last 15 years—there is little focus on the violence and repression of the Franco period and the legal process of reconciliation. Valls notes that Spain should be proud of the lack of violence during its transitional period. Nonetheless, uncovering previously "hidden" issues has helped students gain a better understanding of the 1931-1975 period and has contributed to development of Spain's democratic values. The author hopes that issues of amnesty and reconciliation, which are sensitive though important items, eventually will be incorporated into textbooks and the classroom. He remains optimistic, but still feels that additional reforms are needed to build a comparative framework that links history to everyday life.

6. Historical Memory and the Limits of Peace Education: Examining Guatemala's Memory of Silence and the Politics of Curriculum Design
Elizabeth Oglesby, University of Arizona

Guatemala's Commission for Historical Clarification in Context

Teaching About the Recent Past in Postwar Guatemala
• Textbooks before and after the Peace Accords
• Schools and the "Agency" of Teachers
• The Adolfo Hall Civic-Military Institute
• USAID and Dissemination of the CEH Report

Historical Memory and the Limits of Peace Education

Final Considerations

Chapter Summary
Elizabeth Oglesby's chapter focuses on establishing frameworks for analyzing the impact of truth commissions within the context of education. Truth commissions have become significant in the development and narration of "'truthful' accounts of painful and violent histories." According to Oglesby, creating an official history does not mean "fixing" it, but establishing parameters for future discussion. Of particular concern in this chapter is Guatemala's Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) and the struggle to introduce into the school system recommendations from its report, Memory of Silence. The chapter is divided into three sections: a description of the CEH, a discussion on how recent history is addressed in the Guatemalan school system, and a critique of peace education initiatives.

From its inception, the CEH was thought to be a weak organization. Its powers were limited and its testimonies were kept confidential. However, in 1999 the CEH issued a report that found the military violence against the Mayan population to reach almost genocidal proportions. It scrutinized the roots of the armed conflict and recommended that the state develop a commission to oversee implementation of its proposals. The commission's report also called for the development of curricular projects on historical memory. However, this national project has not been implemented due to a lack of curricular materials and guidelines. Nonetheless, while materials about the atrocities of the recent past are scarce, teachers have found ways to deal with the situation and, in some cases, deal with parents who are uneasy about their children learning this part of Guatemalan history. Students are asked to write poems and stories, interview relatives or others in the community who lived through the conflict, and read primary documents, testimonials, and poetry. Debates on human rights topics are organized among high schools, and videos, novels, and theater productions have become alternate sources of information.

The Guatemalan case raises questions about the importance and effectiveness of truth commissions. Nonetheless, as seen by the CEH report which opened a space for discussion within the society, the commission has helped in forming a structure to frame future discussions. Current debates are looking for ways to incorporate information on the war into the curriculum and dealing with the historical memory of the period.

Thomas Sherlock, United States Military Academy

State, Society, and Historical Narratives
• The Dolutskii Affair
• The Essential Need for Myth: The Political Dimension
• Putin, Institutional Interests, and Myths

Russian Society and the Requirement of Myth
• The Failure of Yeltsin's Leadership
• The Consequences of Inaction: The Failure of Political Mobilization under Yeltsin
• The Zagladin Narrative
• The Fate of the Liberal Narrative: Halting Retreat or Discursive Rout?

History, Coexistence, and Reconciliation with Non-Russian Groups
• The Baltic Case: Coming to Terms with Baltic History?
• The Case of Ukraine
• The Case of Chechnya


Chapter Summary
This chapter looks at political change, reconciliation, and conflict in post-Soviet society by examining history narratives in secondary-school history textbooks. The chapter includes discussion of Russia's efforts to reevaluate its Soviet past and the impact of these efforts on textbooks, as well as issues concerning Russia's political identity, democratization, and reconciliation. It discusses in detail Igor Dolutskii's controversial textbook and factors pushing contemporary Russian society to reevaluate its past and selective memory. The chapter ends with a look at how historical discourse will be shaped under Putin and the role of the West in the process of reconciling a contested past.

One example of the movement toward a reevaluation of the Soviet past and the struggle over defining a national memory is the Dolutskii Affair, which has spanned the Brezhnev, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin eras. (Also important to the discussion of textbooks and Russia's inability to cope with the past are the textbooks of Nikita Zagladin and Alexander Chubarian.) Igor Dolutskii, who began teaching in the 1970s, published a textbook in 1994 that was issued in multiple editions and has over 550,000 copies in print. His teachings challenged the official narrative of the Soviet state, and his textbook eventually was removed from the list of recommended texts because Putin felt it generated a negative narrative that helped to demoralize the people. During the post-Yeltsin period authors like Dolutskii were subject to attack. The Yeltsin period is seen both as a period of cultural openness and a period characterized by government's neglect of the past; and this inability to deal with the past not only led to negative legitimization for the leadership, but also affected the public psyche by prompting people to question self identity, national institutions, and cultural symbols.

This inability to deal with the past has had many implications for Russia. For example, it has played a part in the relationships with non-Russian groups in the Baltics, Ukraine, and Chechnya where the collective memories of the people have been shaped by repression during the Soviet period and Stalin era. With the help of Russia's civil society, there has been some progress in assessing the past, despite the government's inability to do so. Nonetheless, Russia will continue to have problems dealing openly with its past if it continues on its present trajectory. Since it is sensitive to the pressure of Western democracies, the West might be able to influence the situation by encouraging the development of democratic principles which promote diversity within the historical dialogue.

8. On the Use and Abuse of Korea's Past: An Inquiry into History Teaching and Reconciliation
Roland Bleiker, University of Queensland & Hoang Young-Ju, Pusan University of Foreign Studies

The Political Context: Conflict in Korea

The Politics of Teaching the Past: Existing Studies of Education in Korea

History Education in Korea: Background Information to Our Study

Our Textual Analysis: Competing Narratives of the Korean War

Changes in History Teaching: Emerging Tolerance in South Korea

The Relationship Between History Teaching and Historiography

Assessment of Grassroots Potential for a More Tolerant Approach to the Teaching of History


Chapter Summary
Using the Korean War (1950-1953) as a focus, this chapter looks at the possibility of reconciliation between the two Koreas by analyzing secondary-school history teaching. Differences in the historical interpretation of the Korean War—which continues to dominate Korean politics—by both the North and South have contributed to feelings of mistrust and fear on both sides of the demilitarized zone (DMZ). In both North and South Korea the state exerts a great deal of influence over the development of textbooks and the education system. Both countries are also Confucian societies, which place a strong emphasis on the role of education.

In both instances the two Korean governments place the blame for the conflict on the other side of the DMZ and both portray the events of the war differently. Textbooks in South Korea tend to stress that although they fought bravely against the communists, lack of military resources, among other things, forced them to retreat; but with help from UN forces they were able to retake Seoul and areas in the North. North Korean textbooks usually take a more personal approach in recounting the war since they stress the role of the Great Leader, Kim Il Sung, in the war effort.

Recent and small changes in some history textbooks in South Korea seem to indicate that the South is leaning toward a less ideological interpretation of history, which has led to a more balanced and less hostile view of the North. Interviews with teachers and administrators revealed that they, for the most part, were receptive to the notion of competing narratives of history. Yet despite a willingness to accept alternative approaches to teaching history, teachers in the South still have little choice regarding how they teach history, since textbook publication is tightly administered by the Ministry of Education. There are also other aspects of South Korea's education system that stand in the way of promoting alternative was of teaching history. On the other side of the DMZ, the North most likely will not deviate from its current teaching patterns until there is regime change. The authors seem to feel that any movement toward change and reconciliation will most likely be initiated by the South.

9. The Role of History Textbooks in Shaping Collective Identities in India and Pakistan
Jon Dorschner, U.S. Department of State & Thomas Sherlock, United States Military Academy

The Role of Historical Discourse

Alone Together: The Turbulent Period of Independence

The Role of History Education

The Case of Pakistan
• The Madrassa Problem

The Case of India
• Civics and Secularism
• Indian Textbooks under Fire

The Failure of Both Countries

The Prospects for Change: Pakistan

The Prospects for Change: India

In Lieu of a Conclusion

Chapter Summary
Widespread communal violence followed the partition of British India into India (which is predominantly Hindu) and Pakistan (which is predominantly Muslim). Prior to partition, the different regions of British India, for the most part, used the same curriculum. Today, although the history syllabi in the two countries may differ, they share similarities in the structure of their educational systems and the process by which they produce textbooks. Moreover, the objective of history education in both countries is the same: to instill a common historical narrative that strengthens national pride and loyalty.

After a brief discussion on the role of history education in developing a national identity and the importance of a national narrative within a society, this chapter looks at the political circumstances that have shaped textbook narratives in India and Pakistan. The chapter also analyzes textbook content and notes that official narratives sometimes undermine intrastate and interstate reconciliation on the subcontinent. In Pakistan, a negative nationalism campaign was used to unify Pakistanis against Hindu India. Whereas Pakistan describes itself as an ideologically based state, India describes itself as a secular state and relies on textbooks and a standardized curriculum to infuse secular nationalism. Although India's textbooks emphasize the equality of all faiths and gives each equal time, the Indian curriculum still colors the way in which Pakistan is represented and this helps to enhance the divide within South Asia. When compared to the Pakistani texts, Indian texts use negative nationalism to a lesser extent, tend to combine history with secularism, and use a multicultural approach to embrace all nationalities and religions within India's borders.

The possibilities for developing new identity representations that would better support coexistence or even reconciliation between Pakistan and India are also explored. The authors question the success of India and Pakistan in educating their students about their own history as well as that of their neighbors. The shortcomings within the curricula of both nations have impeded the reconciliation process. As a result, parents and educators in both countries have called for change, which is only starting to take shape in each country. The authors wrap up the chapter by offering specific suggestions to Pakistan and India to help them develop a "politically viable curriculum in history education."

Audrey R. Chapman, University of Connecticut Health Center

Read the complete Afterword. [PDF.457.94 K]