Why We Still Need Textbook Commissions?

Wozu noch Schulbuchkommissionen? | Czy komisje podręcznikowe są jeszcze potrzebne?

Komisje podręcznikowe były tworem swoich czasów. W dużej części spełniły postawione im zadania, stając się ważnym pośrednikiem między teorią a praktyką szkolną. Odegrały również znaczną rolę w dialogu międzynarodowym, który nawiązywały zwaśnione dotąd państwa. Jest to osiągnięcie, które wymaga szczególnego podkreślenia. Dzisiaj jednak komisje podręcznikowe wydają się być na forum publicznym nieobecne. Niewiele słychać o ich pracy, ich członkowie – poza okazjami rocznicowymi – nie występują w przestrzeni publicznej.

 

Początkowo projekt antywojenny

Pierwsze komisje podręcznikowe powstały po I wojnie światowej. Inicjatorami były organizacje nauczycieli i historyków w różnych krajach europejskich, prace komisji odbywały się bilateralnie (narodowe komisje) i międzynarodowo (np. w ramach Międzynarodowej komisji współpracy intelektualnej Ligii Narodów).[1] Jednego z powodów wrogości między narodami …


Categories: 3 (2015) 12
DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1515/phw-2015-3861

Tags: , , ,

1 reply »

  1. Krzysztof Ruchniewicz drew attention to a very important topic for the present history text quality. Do we want to make clear to our students that the world of history is wider than our history texts based on the national narratives? If we do we need to switch to international cooperation and bilateral history text commissions as first step. And we need to take the outcomes of this work seriously. I believe in this kind of history books in the “Facebook age”. The Russian Ministry of Education is preparing the history teachers to use e-text books in the coming years. The young generation will be used to digital texts pretty soon. It is interesting how all these changes in the information will have an impact on the national history narrative.

    I was impressed by the work of the International Committee for Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations (“the League of Wits”) in the field of comparison of the history texts in 1920-1930s too. They also invented the exchange of “open letters” by intellectuals from various countries to make the different cultures and ideologies been nearer to the people. The League did not reach big results in this job for one reason. There was no one commission that could shake seriously national patriotic history narratives that existed in that time. It seems that Bernard Shaw overestimated the atmosphere in the League of Nations in 1928 saying that “In the atmosphere of Geneva patriotism perishes: a patriot there is simply a spy who cannot be shot.” [1]

    This problem overcoming national patriotic narratives and myths still exists and puts questions to the internationally written history texts now.
    The first Russian-German text book in history was presented in Berlin in March 2015. Alexander O. Chubrian mentioned in the interview about this presentation that there will be two chapters about the Stalingrad battle in the text. One is prepared by a Russian author, another one by a German historian. It is an interesting solution as there are clearly many interpretation of this battle by historians.[2] For Russians, Stalingrad is sacred. And the heroism of Stalingrad is the rooted mood of the people and the part of the national narrative might be even myth.
    Yes we need to think of multilateral commissions on history textbooks instead of conferences in the expert for expert format. We need also to talk about these texts as broad and inclusive as we can, including the opinion of the representatives of society and even parents of the students.

    References
    [1] Fabian Tract No 226. The League of Nations by Bernard Show. Published by the Fabian Society. London, 1929. p. 5.
    [2] Rossiiskaya gazeta. 10.03.2015 http://www.rg.ru/2015/03/10/uchebnik-site.html (last accessed 2015/19/4).

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