Making democrats while developing their historical consciousness: A complex task.
History teaching in Sweden is, among other things, supposed to create democratic citizens appreciating certain values. These goals are described in the first chapter in the curriculum, “Fundamental values and tasks of the school”, as cross-curricular goals that every teacher should foster. At the same time the history teacher is supposed to develop the students´ historical consciousness by developing certain cognitive abilities that allow the students to interpret history on their own. These abilities are described in the history syllabus. The abilities do not, however, address any particular values to be developed. The history teachers´ assignments can therefore be in conflict. In the article I analyze the Swedish history teachers´ mission by comparing the goals for the citizenship education in the curriculum´s first chapter, with the theoretical construction of how to develop the students´ historical consciousness, found in the syllabus in history. At the end there is a discussion and a tentative suggestion how to process the tension between making democrats and at the same time develop the students´ cognitive abilities to understand and use history of their own.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Fredrik Alvén
Historical Encounters is a double blind peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the empirical and theoretical study of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education.
The journal is published by the HERMES History Education Research Network concentrated at The University of Newcastle, Australia. The journal publishes a single regular issue in June each year, and a special issue in the December. To ensure timely availability of scholarship, articles and reviews are published as soon as they have been successfully through the peer review and editorial processes, adding cumulatively to the content for the single regular issue each year. No fees are charged for subscription or publication. The journal is indexed in SCOPUS, DOAJ, Index Didacticorum, and Google Scholar, and periodically archived in the National Library of Australia's PANDORA Archive. Contributors to the journal retain copyright to their work. Please read the Copyright Notice for full details.
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Robert J. Parkes, PhD
Editor | Historical Encounters
Faculty of Education and Arts
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