The International Status of Education about the Holocaust – A global mapping of textbooks and curricula

This report was published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research. It documents the ways in which the Holocaust is presented in secondary school level history and social studies curricula worldwide, and conceptualized and narrated in textbooks from twenty-six countries, with all continents represented.

Historical understandings of the Holocaust are defined in terms of the spatial and temporal scales with which the event is portrayed, the protagonists involved, interpretative patterns (according to definitions, comprehensiveness, causes, relativization or banalization), narrative techniques and viewpoints, didactic methods, and national idiosyncrasies. The study is based on 272 currently valid curricula from 135 countries, and on 89 textbooks published in 26 countries since 2000. The aim of the study is primarily to document information in such a way that it reflects local understandings of the Holocaust, principally by recording concepts and narratives of the Holocaust found in educational media currently in use in schools.

Professor Stuart Foster and Adrian Burgess from the Centre for Holocaust Education provided the United Kingdom’s contribution to this project consisting of a detailed analysis of the narrative paradigms through which the Holocaust is represented in a sample of History textbooks at Key Stage 3, GCSE and A-level.


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