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Tønsberg: Høgskolen i Vestfold, 2001
Egil Børre Johnsen: Textbooks in the Kaleidoscope.
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Chapter III

Ideological Research Traditions

Since textbook research trends have been quite closely linked
to the progression of ideological investigations, I have chosen
to present a number of national traditions under this heading.
I must point out, however, that the survey is not exhaustive,
neither in terms of the individual countries nor in a larger
perspective. Neither does it try to register systematically the
connecting links and inspirations transmitted between
research communities in various countries.
  To a certain extent, this section also considers directions
and fields other than those that deal with ideology.
  The presentation of national traditions occasionally consists
of quotations from the different parties' own presentation of
the tradition in question.

Historical Background

In the early half of the 1970s, staff members at the
University of Duisburg began to take a serious interest in
making systematic investigations of textbooks as political
  The two trendsetters were E. Horst Schallenberger and
Gerd Stein, both professors of political science. From 1973 to
1978, they edited and published a series of books called Zur
Sache Schulbuch. The intense activity continued into the early
1980s, while the Institute published less comprehensive
individual publications - IfS-Impulse - based on conferences
devoted to how the question of peace, the Jewish issue and
Europe were portrayed in textbooks.
  The Duisburg tradition is embodied in the titles of the first
and last volumes in the Zur Sache Schulbuch series: Das
Schulbuch - Produkt und Faktor gesellschaftlicher Prozesse
(volume 1 1973; see Schallenberger) and Schulbuchwissen,
Politik und Pädagogik (volume 10 1977/78; see Stein). Both
Schallenberger and Stein return repeatedly to the starting
point for their scholarly interest in textbooks, i.e., the sharp
criticism and extensive attention focused on such books by
the West German media in the early 1970s.
  The criticism was directed

  actually far less at the textbook as a didactic medium than
  at the textbook
  - as an object of political conflict
  - as an expenditure within the framework of public
    education expenses
  - as an investment project for publishers, i.e., as one of
    many goods sold in bookshops
  - as an instrument of government control of teaching and
    education; in short: it concerns the textbooks as a POLI-
    TICUM. (Stein 1976, p. 25.)

The stimuli for the public interest taken in textbooks as
political literature stemmed from several sources. In the 1960s
educators and jurists at colleges and universities began to take
an interest in the approval schemes practiced in the various
Bundesländer. This interest coincided with the new school
reforms which compelled parents to read textbooks carefully;
some even went so far as to form action groups and protest
against the use of certain titles. The anti-authoritarian
 educational sentiments of the times led to the publication of
more class-conscious textbooks with more distinct political
profiles. The biggest attention-getter was a work called
Drucksachen, published the same year as Onward and Never
Forget (see page 151), which shows a similar tendency. The
mass media used it in a smear campaign against the political
party CDU during the election in Niedersachsen in 1974
(Langenbucher - Mast 1979).
  What Schallenberger and Stein wanted was, on the one
hand, to conduct investigations which might shed light on
textbooks as social and school media and, on the other hand,
to exploit general interest in order to build bridges between
disciplines such as political science and pedagogy and
promote multi-perspective and interdisciplinary textbook
research (Stein 1977; p. V).
  This point of departure offers a far broader perspective
than work on history book revision. Duisburg also spawned
analyses within that tradition, e.g., a large-scale comparison
of the pictures of Germany portrayed in history books in
Switzerland, Austria and East and West Germany from 1945
to 1955; an investigation which concluded that the textbooks
- irrespective of country - presented very one-sided views
and limited pupils' chances to form their own opinions
(Overesch 1978). Such a conclusion offers an entirely
different perspective from that of Sprenger (see page 89),
who, for example, states in another contribution in the same
series that he sees the open competition in the West as a
guarantee for less textbook bias there than in the East
(Sprenger 1977). These examples give an indication of the
range of the work being conducted at the Institut für
Schulbuchforschung in Duisburg.
  In many ways the work done at Duisburg has been
fundamental, although it was never really completed (the
Institute was closed in 1990). The IfS succeeded no better in
reaching textbooks' authors, editors and users than the
publications from the Institute, which were generally
influenced by the editors' areas of expertise, succeeded in
recruiting an influx of new scholars into the academic
community. In a recapitulation commemorating the tenth
anni-versary of the Institute one of its board members,
Michael Alloys Schillo, called for the dissemination of new
knowledge (Schillo 1987). He asked how many users had been
informed about text-books' political and scientific aspects.
He also asked whether the researchers had actually come up
with an answer to the ever-recurring question of why there
are approval schemes and why textbooks still seem to be too
difficult for many pupils. In addition, he asked how many
publishers' editors had been informed of the research results.
  Most of the salient factors related to the objectives and
experiences gained at Duisburg were discussed in Franz
Pöggeler's book on politics in textbooks (Pöggeler 1985).
Schallenberger and Stein are also contributors, but the book's
list of contributors offers a reminder that textbook research
was carried out at many West German universities in the
1980s; five different research centers are represented in
Pöggeler's book, which covers a wide range of subjects and
has a composition that illustrates the Duisburg ideals. In the
 first article, "Politik im Schulbuch", Franz Pöggeler justifies
his reasons for addressing the topic. He does this by setting
up five working hypotheses:
  1. Political influence in teaching and textbooks is not
limited to the social sciences; it occurs in all subjects, even
those traditionally thought of as apolitical.
  2. Hence it is crucial to distinguish between intentional and
functional political influence. Basic political beliefs are even
embodied in the ABCs, whose only express goal has been to
teach the alphabet. This is even more obvious in song books,
for example.
  3. Neither textbook authors nor teachers are sufficiently
aware of this. This means that biased and incorrect
information can be passed on freely; i.e., we are dealing with
a functional form of political indoctrination which is also
"subcutaneous", meaning it "lies under the skin".
  4. Most textbook analyses which deal with influence treat
textbooks used at higher levels ("vom Beginn des
Jugendalters") based on the assumption that political
influence ("Bildung") does not begin before that. Yet such
influence starts already in pupils' very first textbooks.
  5. Ideally, one would not form an overall opinion of
textbooks' political form and content until one had the whole
picture. But such a vantage point is not feasible. (Pöggeler
discusses methods immediately after this viewpoint; see page
  The combination of textbook analyses and the numerous
textbook excerpts in the book confirms the contention set out
in point 1. At the same time, the various analyses - of books
in a total of seven subjects - provide ammunition for those
who claim that teachers, not least at the lowest levels, should
be given special courses in textbook science. Uncovering a
text's explicit and implicit messages calls for procedures that
require awareness and training beyond that needed for more
traditional literary analysis.
  The most lengthy contribution to the book is Barbara
Klauss and Günther Brilla's analysis of biology books for the
primary, lower secondary and upper secondary levels (Klauss
- Brilla 1985). The authors point out that it is easier for
readers to see the ideology in textbooks based on national
socialism and marxism than that contained in West German
books published after the war. Recent curricula have not
offered any guidance on the relationship between biology and
social issues. Yet controversial issues and opinions are
inevitable within the subject's individual disciplines, e.g.,
sexual instruction, nature and the environment and genetics.
The analysis' goal will not only be to determine whether the
viewpoints on controversial issues are represented, but also to
identify the form in which they are presented. This latter
point refers not only to the choice of words and formulations,
but also to the overall context of the statements. The book's
composition, its basic attitude as expressed not least through
 its style, must also be examined. To exemplify this, the
authors mention one condition in particular. In the former
GDR, textbooks had one express, principal goal: They were
to promote the development of the socialistic, classless state.
Textbooks in the West are intended to build up positive
attitudes toward life and society, too. Yet attitude-molding
factors there are not an explicit part of the textbook ideology
per se in the same way as they are/were in the East. The
authors show how emotional, positive statements engender
general optimism in the East German books, while West
German textbooks often exhibit undertones which are
directly pessimistic (p. 185).

Braunschweig and the GDR
The institute in Duisbrug has cooperated with the Georg
Eckert Institute in Braunschweig; one important impetus for
their cooperation was the international conference entitled
"Europa im Schulbuch", arranged in Duisburg in 1977
(Schillo 1987). The conference was subsequently followed up
by an institute project called "Europa im Schulbuch -
Schulbücher in Europa" (Gödde-Baumann 1987).
  In this area, however, it is the Georg Eckert Institute in
Braunschweig that has dominated European research. The
Institute has been an important venue for work in connection
with the international revision of history and geography
books. Today it is Europe's largest textbook institute, and it
boasts a long, uninterrupted history. The Institute publishes
annual bibliographies of textbook research. The list from
1988 includes 171 titles, most of them from West Germany.
The majority of the titles were written by people at or
associated with the Institute.
  One typical feature of the Braunschweig tradition is the
loyalty consistently shown to the ideals of the founder of the
Institute. Georg Eckert's belief in the ability of textbooks to
promote tolerance and the desire for peace has steered the
Institute's work for more than 40 years, focusing on making
comparative studies of how countries and the peace issue are
portrayed in textbooks. Another typical trait of a more
methodical nature has also helped determine the direction of
these efforts. The selection of material and its presentation in
the books have been the dominant focus of interest at the
expense of questions concerning development and use of
  However, this situation began to change in the mid-1980s.
The selection of topics is now more varied, and several
researchers at the institute are concentrating on
methodological problems. Naturally, methodology has been
discussed in articles that have appeared fairly regularly
throughout the history of the Institute (Weinbrenner 1986),
but not with the same intensity as at the Duisburg institute
from 1977 to 1987.
  A few examples of recent investigations undertaken at
Braunschweig may be indicative of the activity which now
appears to be branching out in many directions.
   In an article published in 1986, the director of the
Institute, Ernst Hinrichs, discussed the relationship between
research and textbooks in the subject of history (Hinrichs
1986). He examined eight currently used history books at the
lower secondary level and compared their description of
absolutism (Absolutismus) with contemporary, generally
accepted research results produced by English, French and
German historians. Such results were not reflected in the
books. While contemporary research defines absolutism
mainly as a structure, rather loosely connected to time and
place, the textbooks maintain that the concept is a time-
related or epochal phenomenon. The conclusion of the article
interjects a viewpoint which must be said to pertain to
educational ideology. Hinrichs seems to believe that the
curricula may impede contact and cooperation between
researchers and textbook authors: "Perhaps this will change
in the new generation of textbooks despite the limitations
imposed by the curricula?" (P. 320.)
  In the article "Can't we get rid of the prejudices?"
(Fritzsche 1989), the author asks "whether the fact that we
can manage without prejudices is not in itself a prejudice?"
(p. 376). Fritzsche explains the German preoccupation with
national characteristics, prejudices and biases in history books
as symptomatic of the fact that Germany's entire political
culture is burdened "with a history of problems with its
national consciousness" (p. 385).
  The issue of Internationale Schulbuchforschung in which
Fritzsche's article was published also contains other
contributions which tell of a broadening and rejuvenation of
scope, e.g., toward textbooks in subjects other than history
and geography, foreign languages (see Kubanek, page 107)
and of non-European conditions (the Third World; see von
Laer 1989; Sperling 1989). It is also typical of this broader
perspective that the Institute soon after published a book on
how textbooks fulfill the requirements concerning
introductions to local history and civics - The 'little space' as
a problem of international textbook research (Hinrichs 1990).
"Regionality" has become a buzzword in educational
planning in Germany as well. One of the reasons for
publishing the book was that little attention had previously
been paid to the concept of regionality and the important
political aspects it encompasses.
  As a contribution to UNESCO's efforts to establish criteria
for the improvement of educational materials with an
international dimension, the Institute also published a report
on studies undertaken and in the planning stage in this field
(Georg-Eckert-Institut 1991). A report edited by the Council
of Europe presents lectures on textbook analysis held at an
international workshop in Braunschweig in 1990 (Bourdillon
  A new question has become urgent since the reunification
of East and West Germany in 1990. Should school systems and
textbooks originating under a totalitarian and a democratic
form of government, respectively, be adjusted to
accommodate each other, or should all traditions from the
totalitarian regime be abandoned? Karl Peter Fritzsche
 describes the problem as follows:

  Firstly, will it be possible for former citizens and experts
  of the GDR to be allowed to develop their own textbooks,
  offering the opportunity for an open discussion about the
  past and the present? Secondly, to what extent will the
  process of German reunification act as a suction pipe,
  producing homogeneity which will have repercussions on
  the West German political culture and language? This could
  unleash a form of semantic crusade against any terms
  belonging to the semantic word field including
  "Socialism". (Fritzsche 1990, p. 7).

A retrospective look at textbook research and textbook
develop-ment in the GDR during the past few decades will
provide a far stronger argument for mutual accommodation
than for West German predominance.
  A whole school of textbook research was developed in the
GDR. Schulbuchgestaltung in der DDR (Autorenkollektiv
1984) may be seen as the most important manifestation of this
tradition. The tradition initially became strong and well-
developed because of the emphasis the regime placed on
learning and education. In that connection considerable
importance was attached to textbooks. The book's preface
states inter alia:

  The textbooks in the GDR are indispensable for giving
  children a Communist upbringing, for preparing them for
  life and productive work in the future formation of the
  mature Socialist society. (P. 9.)

In the same preface, the authors cite the "Programm der
Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands" from 1976. The
pupils are to develop so that "the thoughts and actions of the
workers are characterized by the Socialistic ideology, the
working class' Marxist-Leninist philosophy of life."
  Such a clearly expressed ideology, practiced by a loyal
body of teachers within a totalitarian state, automatically
provided the following objective for those whose job it was
to make the textbooks: To convey the official ideology as well
as possible in books on all subjects and to maximize the
efficiency of the same books as educational instruments.
  It was actually possible to draw historical parallels to
justify homogeneity. As recently as in 1989, a paper was
presented at the 14th scientific textbook conference in Halle-
Köthen in which the author indirectly placed the Marxist-
liberal conflict into an historical perspective. He said that one
has to distinguish between two different categories of books.
Books in the first category are based on scientifically proven
facts (Grundkonzeption), while those in the other are based
on more liberally and eclectically selected thoughts
(eklektisches Gedankengut):

  The first category comprises textbooks based on the
  educational concept of the Reformation, the textbooks of
  RATKE and KOMENSKY in the 17th century, and the
  textbooks of the Philanthropists in the 18th century. The
   second, the eclectic, comprises the countless mass of
  different textbooks that are used in German classrooms.
  (Egerland 1990, p. 36.)

For textbook work, the GDR ideology meant that the books'
attributes as educational instruments became the main focus
of interest. However, this occurred as an obvious extension of
the ultimate message, which primarily resulted in the
emphasizing of attitude-molding material. Irrespective of
whether the books were for mathematics, history or biology,
there is a conspicuous ten-dency toward using evaluative,
emotional material which is positive and constructive. A work
produced by the director of the Ratke Institute in Köthen,
H.-J. Schwier, is called "Methodische Überlegungen zur
emotionalen Werksamkeit von Lehrbuch-abschnitten im
Biologieunterrict" (Schwier 1980). The ideology is also
apparent in the books' evaluations of social and political
conditions in the West, especially in the history books (see
page 91).
  A research community evolved, based on the teachers
college in Halle-Köthen and the sole textbook publisher,
Volk und Wissen, where head of research Horst Strietzel was
a key person. The work done there has been significant in
two areas:

  1. The East Germans developed a systematic method of text
research which placed heavy emphasis on the composition
and structure of the textbook material. Financial difficulties
precluded the use of many illustrations and extra-textual
enhancements, but this doesn't explain why the textbook texts
received so much attention. The explanation lies partly in the
fact that the texts were accorded far more prestige than has
been the case in the West, and partly in the fact that East
German researchers were able to base their work on well-
developed theories originating in Romania, Hungary,
Bulgaria, Estonia and Poland, and especially on theories
developed in the Soviet Union.

  2. How much can pupils learn from such texts, and how do
they learn fastest? The GDR has made attempts to answer
this question using practical measurements of classroom
results. Several analytical systems have been developed to
obtain such measurements, which have been far more
comprehensive than comparable measurements undertaken in
countries in the West.
  There was cooperation with the former Soviet Union,
thanks not least to Dmitri Sujew, one of the leading textbook
theorists in the former Soviet Union and for years director of
Moscow's foremost textbook publisher, Prosweschtschenie.
His 1983 book, Shkaalnij Utsjebnik (The Schoolbook), was
translated to German by Volk und Wissen in 1986 (Sujew
1986). It presents analytical models based on a holistic,
Marxist-Leninist framework. As basic systematic research,
Sujew's book is unparalleled in the West. Owing to traditions
and the political system, Sujew is able to take the book's
leading role in the classroom for granted. There would be no
point in arguing against viewpoints such as the following one,
excerpted from the introduction to the chapter on Function-
 Structure Analysis:

  The textbook is part of the teaching media system; it is at
  the very core of the system.
    Relatively speaking, the textbook is an independent
  system, it realizes certain functions and has a specific
    The textbook is a complete system in which all parts
  have a special task and demonstrate independent design
  and form. (Sujew 1986, p. 177.)

In the USSR textbook researchers have been publishing
annual editions of a series called "Textbook Development and
Textbook Research" since 1974. As early as 1970, East
Germany began publishing the same sort of series:
Informationen zu Schulbuch-fragen. Volume 53 from 1985
contains a table of contents from 1979 to 1984. It includes
more than 500 titles, the majority of which concern text
analysis, user surveys and discussions of methodology.
  Both sides are obviously willing to unite the GDR and
FRG traditions. Leading textbook researchers from the West
have expressed their fear that research publications from the
GDR and the research institutions themselves will disappear
(Bamberger 1990). One sign pointing in the opposite direction
is the establish-ment of the Wissenschaftliches Zentrum für
Schulbuchforschung am Wolfgang-Ratke-Institut, which was
founded in Köthen in December 1990.

One general characteristic of textbook investigations in the
USA is that most of their results are presented in the form of
articles and reports. Compared with the large number of such
investigations, it is striking that the results of so few have
been published in book form. The number of books that
include several reports in the same volume is also modest.
  The growing interest shown during the past two decades in
textbooks as political literature follows a tradition predicted
earlier by several researchers. Basic work done in this field
includes Shaver's (Shaver 1965) and Fox and Hess' analyses of
material on social conflicts in social studies books (Fox - Hess
1972). Shaver found the whole portrayal of US society in 93
high school textbooks to be naive and unrealistic, while the
other two researchers demonstrated that social conflicts and
conflicts of interest are either totally precluded from or not
explained in such books. Their observation of this absence is
a crucial point seen in connection with Michael Apple's
studies (see page 148).  In his book Ideology and Curricula (2.
ed. 1990), the latter discusses how conflicting views in
science generate knowledge, and how the exclusion of such
dynamics in textbooks serves to transmit special ideologies.
Works such as these of Fox, Hess and Apple have been among
the most important inspiration forces for later work in
Scandinavia developing in their wake.
  A large number of ideological investigations were
published in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s. As far as
 method is concerned, these studies are reminiscent of the
European history textbook revision. However, Jean Anyon's
investigation, entitled "Ideology and United States History
Textbooks" (Anyon 1979) was published in 1979. Many
regarded Anyon's study to be a "landmark in the analysis of
school textbooks" (Gilbert 1989, p. 63). For this author,
ideology is "an explanation or interpretation of social reality
which, although presented as objective, is demonstrably
partial in that it expresses the social priorities of certain
political, economic, or other groups" (Anyon 1979, p. 363).
Anyon reviews the presentation of economics and business
and industry in history books and also focuses on the
production and sale of textbooks. This last field also received
special national attention in 1983 when the National
Commission on Excellence in Education published a very
influential report on the need for educational reform not least
in the area of textbooks: A Nation at Risk: the Imperative for
Educational Reform (Government Printing Office 1983).
Ideology gradually became a question of market forces,
production facilities and more or less obvious approval
schemes, as much as a question of the books' content. The
30th yearbook of the NSSE was the first unequivocal
expression of this (NSSE 1931).
  In the USA, research is conducted at numerous institutions
and spread across a wide geographical area. As far as
publications are concerned, there are about ten reference
centers and journals that stand out (Woodward - Elliott -
Nagel 1988, p. 6). One state also stands out in this context:
Cronbach's unparalleled work from 1955, the NSSE yearbooks
(NSSE 1931, 1990) and Woodward's bibliography have all
originated in one way or another at the University of Illinois
Urbana, also the home of the Journal of Curriculum Studies
(ed. Ian Westbury). The journal has presented a great deal of
material on textbook theory.

Recent Trends in Other Countries
Sweden has dominated textbook traditions in the Nordic
countries, both textbook research in general and ideological
investigations in particular.
  The books written by Palm and Tingsten (see pages 137 and
102) provided the impetus for textbook research at several
Swedish colleges and universities. In the 1970s and early
1980s, there was a tradition of internationalism, concerned
with how other countries were presented in Swedish
textbooks (Gullberg - Lind 1969, Olsson 1986), and a more
domestic tradition, concerned with issues such as how the
term democracy was presented in the textbooks (Anderberg
  An atmosphere of cooperation developed in Sweden
between the research institutions and SiL, the State Institute
for Teaching Materials. The Institute eventually initiated a
number of topic-related investigations, performed as
commissioned research (e.g., Women and men in literary
history, A study of political parties, How working life is
described in Swedish teaching materials). The reports were
 based on scientific investigations aimed not at approval or
disapproval, but at making even better books in the future.
  As far as Sweden is concerned, it is possible to follow
developments from the introduction of the approval system
in 1938, to 1988. The latter year marked the presentation of
the Report from the Teaching Materials Board (Ds 1988:22),
which maps the textbook situation and sets out a program of
action. The program contains no separate item pertaining to
research, but it recommends a better approval system that sets
very high standards for those in charge of examining the
books. A combination of a program with correspondingly
high standards and a tradition of cooperation between the
senior school authorities and competent investigators
constitutes a rare model, to which there are no direct parallels
in the Nordic countries or other places in Europe. However,
The State Institute for Teaching Materials was discontinued
in the summer of 1991, and it seems clear that the newly-
organized administrative system, the new School
Administration, will not be involved with textbook approval.
  The primary textbook research community in Sweden
today is the Institute for Educational Text Research in
Härnösand, headed by Staffan Selander, who was deeply
involved in curriculum theory and textbook-related studies
throughout the 1980s. In 1984, he published his Textum
Institutionis - the Pedagogical Web. In it, he analyzes how
texts are used in different contexts, why they are moved from
certain contexts to other contexts, and what happens to them
in the process (Selander 1984). Four years later he published
Textbook Knowledge (Selander 1988), a complex analysis of
a large number of history textbooks. The author discusses the
textbook as a genre and the significance of social and
institutional parameters for the content and form of textbooks
and, based on the perspective of curriculum theory, he points
out how one may develop methods for textbook analysis. This
model is then applied to an analysis that reveals cognitive
content patterns in history books over a period of 100 years,
based mainly on the type of paradigmatic knowledge and
basic images used in the books, both at the topic and the
meta-level. In an article in the Scandinavian Journal of
Educational Research, Selander has outlined part of his
program as follows:

  To make textbook analysis a scientific endeavour, we make
  the following assumptions:

  [1] There is an objective world outside our minds.
  [2] Textbooks are socially determined reconstructions of
      this objective world.
  [3] The textbook is basically framed by the institution
      (e.g. the educational system).
  [4] The textbook is structured to fit institutionally
      defined needs, and thus it had an inner structure of
      its own.
  [5] It is possible to reframe the textbook analytically so
      that the relationship between (a) the text in the
      textbook and the outside world and (b) the textbook
      and other (e.g. scientific) texts can be traced. Thus it
       is possible to analyze the kind of paradigmatic
      thought (perspectives, models of explanations, etc.)
      that a single textbook or a set of textbooks represents.
      (Selander 1990, pp. 143-44.)

The program has been implemented at the Institute in
Härnösand. The research element encompasses a number of
textbook studies, some of which are connected to newspaper
studies. The research deals with how the textbook presents
topics such as Africa, racism, (Spov 9/1990) business and
industry (Selander 1992), the ratio of text to pictures, and the
books' view of knowledge and science. Moreover, the
Institute is now developing courses to train textbook
researchers. This will be followed up by further education
courses and network programs, including reports and the
Institute's own periodical (Spov 1989, Spov 1990, Spov 1991,
Spov 1992.).
  Austria opened its own Institut für Schulbuchforschung,
headed by Richard Bamberger, in Vienna in 1988. In a
general briefing, Bamberger describes the Institute's tasks as

  The Institute has been set up with the help of the Federal
  Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Since the very
  beginning one of its main activities has been the
  development of methods of textbook analysis. A number of
  worksheets have been drafted so far; some of them have
  been tested in practice and have yielded certain results.
    The following relevant areas of activity may be

  1. A worksheet to analyse whether a textbook corresponds
  to the age and level of pupils and is difficult or easy to
  digest - with 28 items to mark and explanatory notes.

  2. Tests to find out whether the textbook has contributed
  to efficient learning and whether terms have been
  understood correctly (for various school subjects).
    For example 100 items spread over five tests were
  developed for civics education. Preliminary results show
  how important it is to offer political education not only
  through history but also across various other subjects.

  3.Worksheets to analyse textbook contents and compare
  different textbooks used in Austria and abroad:

    3.1 Space analysis: how much space is given to
        different countries or topics, e.g. the situation of
        women or of children of different social groups;

    3.2 Frequency analysis: how often certain names and
        terms or topics appear in textbooks;

    3.3 Analysis of what textbooks say: comparative
        interpret-ation of textbooks or of certain topics
        dealt with in textbooks.

   4. Circular letters to publishers, authors and teachers are in
  preparation. The idea is to put questions about aspects of
  design, use and efficiency of textbooks.

  5. Prejudices and underlying assumptions are examined in
  the context of content analysis mentioned above.

  6. Criteria with regard to subject matter didactics: whether
  a textbook is suited for a particular group of pupils and not
  too difficult is a key question of research undertaken so
  far. Even before the Institute was set up, two projects were
  devoted to this problem area:

    6.1 Dr. Richard Bamberger and Prof. Dr. Erich
    Vanecek, Research into reading, understanding, learning
    and writing;

    6.2 Dr. Richard Bamberger, a research report (about
    600 pages) about the question of whether textbooks are
    easy to read and useful learning tools.

  7. Analysis of the approach used in textbooks: development

    7.1) a general textbook analysis grid;
    7.2) special grids for history, geography, biology,
    physics and reading books in the mother tongue.

  8. Bibliography
  The Institute is busy compiling a bibliography, in
  particular of the literature on textbook analysis: more than
  100 items.

  9. Discussions with publishers, authors and Ministry
  experts testing textbooks aim at drawing conclusions for
  the preparation, production and publication of textbooks.

  10. Neglected areas of research: research as to whether
  text-books are adequate for a particular group of pupils
  and easy to read. (Bamberger 1990.)

In 1971 the Georg Eckert Institute published volume 16 in its
series of publications, which was entitled Europe. The
History and Topicality of Concepts. The author, Rolf-
Joachim Sattler, presents an exposition on Europe as an
historical and political entity. It is based on conferences and
work conducted under the auspices of the Council of Europe
and consists of an exceptionally detailed conceptual analysis.
Sattler's intention was to help clarify the concept in textbooks
(Sattler 1971).
  Twenty years later, the Institut für Schulbuchforschung in
Vienna presented an investigation entitled: "Das Europabild
im Schulbuch. Zum Europabegriff in den österreichischen
Geschichts- und Geographiebüchern der 8. Schulstufe."
 (Gattermann - Gintenstorfer 1991.) The authors examined six
books in each subject. They used analytical grids containing
a series of different categories, ranging from text length,
documentation, exercises and illustrations to the registration
of occurrences of European topics and European designations.
The method is quantitative, measuring "Space" and
"Frequency", while the surveys are concluded with an
interpretive "Summary". The summary contends that the
picture of Europe presented in Austrian textbooks is
arbitrary. There is no uniform concept or systematic attempt
to establish cultural or political unity:

  Well, Europe is more than the EC, but most textbook
  authors give the EC priority. In simple terms: Eastern
  Europe means the East-West conflict and Western Europe
  is the EC!
  An economic and political Europe, a Europe of culture and
  a Europe committed to human rights: In the history books
  we find nothing but an economic Europe! (Gattermann -
  Gintenstorfer 1991, p. 28.)

In the United Kingdom, the Colloquium on Textbooks,
Schools and Society was established in 1988:

  to promote the interdisciplinary study of textbooks.
  Meetings are held three times a year, when possible in
  surroundings which are evocative of textbooks and their
  use. Venues so far have included the libraries of Eton
  College and Westminster School. Programmes are planned
  to include both general methodological discussion and
  papers on specific topics. Among those considered so far
  have been; the Latin grammars of Melanchthon [16th
  century] and Kennedy [19th century], the writings of the
  early 19th-century educationist Mrs Trimmer, the
  mathematics textbooks of Robert Recorde [16th century],
  the influence of printing from plates, the Frobelian books
  of Mrs Walker, William Godwin's venture into publishing,
  19th-century biology textbooks, the 17th-century catalogue
  of King's Norton Grammar School, and history textbooks
  at Oxford and Cambridge in the mid-nineteenth century.
  The Colloquium issues a newsletter, Paradigm, which
  carries both articles and summaries of papers given at
  meetings. It is intended to expand the newsletter to include
  listings of information sources, notes and queries and a
  research register. (Fauvel - Michael - Stray - Wilkes 1990.)

In France, the Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique
has been and is an important center for textbook research (see
Chervel, Choppin, EMMANUELLE, Tournier). So is La
Socitété pour l'Information sur les Manuels Scolaires (see
  Australia and Canada have several universities with staff
members who have done and continue to do textbook
research (see de Castell, Gilbert, Luke, Olson). These
reseachers have established an informal network among
themselves and have produced a funda-mental work as a
manifestation of this cooperation: Language, Authority and
 Criticism. Readings on the School Textbook. (De Castell -
Luke - Luke (eds.) 1989.):

  Unlike previous anthologies - which have tended to gather
  research and commentary from particular disciplines (for
  example, reading psychology, curriculum theory and
  development, literary criticism) - Language, Authority and
  Criticism features original articles from a range of
  disciplinary perspectives. Controversial matters of textbook
  ideological content, discourse form, and classroom use are
  examined by sociologists, literary critics, linguists,
  psychologists and educationists. Additionally, the economic
  and political influences on textbook publishing, adoption
  and censorship are considered. (Cover.)

One special manifestation of interest in Canada is the
publication entitled Embattled Books: The State of the Text
(Willinsky - Bogdan 1990). The book contains contributions
from authors such as Michael W. Apple, James Moffett and
Suzanne de Castell. They discuss the textbook from a
financial and social perspective.
  In Japan, the Japan Textbook Research Center in Tokyo
has been in operation for some ten years now. It was founded
as a research center which mainly intended to "offer the
results of its research to membership publishers of textbooks,
and to help any organizations or people who are now making
or want to make surveys about textbooks" (Outline of Japan
Textbook Research Center 1990). The Center's practical
objective is more strongly pronounced than those at
comparable insitutes in Europe. In addition to its commitment
to helping to improve the quality of Japanese textbooks, the
Center has a distinct international orientation. Among its
publications from the 1980s are comparative studies of social
science textbooks from the USA and Japan (see page 98) and
one of books and syllabuses in five different countries (the
USA, the UK, France, and the former FRG and USSR). In
March 1990, the library boasted almost 75,000 volumes,
virtually all of which have been published in Japan since
1945, in addition to a considerable collection of foreign
textbooks. The Center is currently working on setting up a
textbook library database to systematize all post-war Japanese
titles. Furthermore, the Center has established contact with
approximately 20 other nations for the purpose of exchanging
textbooks (School Textbooks in Japan 1991, p. IV).
  The University of Tartu in Estonia has a special textbook
research department, which has published a composite work
entitled Problems of Textbook Effectivity (Tartu Ulikooli
Toimetised 1991). The contributions are in the predominant
tradition of former Eastern Bloc countries, based on advanced
systems for measuring accessibility in and the learning effect
of texts.

The Nation in the Textbooks

International Textbook Revision
Traditionally, studies have been based on the desire to
describe a nation's own self-image as depicted in textbooks.
This brings up the need for comparison - to see how one's
own country is described in foreign books and how other
nations are described in the books of one's own country or of
other countries.
  Many such comparative and contrastive studies have been
made, and most of them are firmly rooted in German
research. There is one particular tradition that stands out in
this school of research. It involves analyzing the content of
history books across national borders. International peace
efforts have provided the framework for this work. It does
not focus primarily on investigations of how the presentation
of certain topics has changed over the years; the main point
has been to investigate the presentation of certain topics in
books used at the same time in different countries.
  During the inter-war years, many countries took the
initiative to ensure that textbooks in history and to some
extent also in geography were endowed with a content and a
spirit that would encourage tolerance and stimulate the desire
for peace. Most agreements were bilateral at that time; the
first was signed between Argentina and Brazil in 1933.
English, French and German historians were moving in the
same direction, but their work progressed slowly.
  The work accelerated in the 1950s, and UNESCO, the
Georg Eckert Institute in Braunschweig and, later, the
Council of Europe, played pivotal roles. The background and
development of the efforts have been described by the
English textbook author E.H. Dance in a book entitled
History the Betrayer (Dance 1960). The work has not
comprised organized, systematic research; it has been made
up of separate projects through which interested historians
have voluntarily cooperated across national borders to
eliminate errors, prejudices and biases in the presentation of
national histories and international incidents and conflicts.
Following a resolution passed by the Council of Europe, in
1965 the Georg Eckert Institute was named the center for the
administration of and information on the work, which is still
in progress. According to the Institute's annual report for
1989, there are still cooperation agreements involving the
exchange and examination of history and/or geography
textbooks between 14 European countries and Africa and
Latin America (no countries are specified for the last two
  In 1967 Otto-Ernst Schüddekopf edited History Teaching
and History Textbook Revision (Schüddekopf 1967). It is a
 summary of the revision work done up to that time. Two of
the articles in it were written by Haakon Vigander, a school
principal who was a prime-mover in this field for a
generation. Vigander points out three matters of interest. He
rejects such revision work if it has not been achieved through
the cooperative efforts of researchers from several countries
at the same time. He also rejects it if contact has not been
established with authors who are - or will be - open to
changes. Finally, the changes effected through books must
also be effected through teacher education: "... young
teachers and would-be teachers may be got out of the old
rut" (Vigander 1967, p. 64).
  A more recent contribution in the tradition of history
textbook revision is a collection of essays called Perceptions
of History (Berghahn - Schissler 1987). A dozen articles on
Britain, the former West Germany and the USA seek to create
an awareness of the significance of critical schoolbook
scrutiny. Hanna Schissler's conclusions (pp. 36-37) underline
the need for continued research.

East and West Germany (the GDR and the FRG)
As previously mentioned, Germany was and still is a major
center for textbook revision research. Naturally,
developments following WWII made the work done in
Germany particularly interesting. After the constitution of
East Germany in 1949, pupils in the new state were given a
new set of textbooks. All the books had been written recently,
and one and the same book was used for all pupils at a
particular level in a particular subject. How were German
history and the picture of the German national identity
presented in those books, compared with the textbooks used
in West Germany?
  This question has been thoroughly discussed by several
West German researchers in volume 43 of a series of books
published by the Georg Eckert Institute (Jacobmeyer 1986).
The volume, which is some 600 pages long, contains six very
comprehensive analyses of how Germany is portrayed in
textbooks on geography, history and the social sciences in the
two German states from 1949 until the 1980s (see page 142).
  An early analysis of the portrayal of Germany in East
German textbooks, written by Reinhard Sprenger, was
published in the Institute at Duisburg's series Zur Sache
Schulbuch in 1977 (Sprenger 1977). Sprenger's description of
East German conditions is quite representative of West
German attitudes toward East German textbooks, and
probably of Western European attitudes toward East Bloc
textbooks in general. The author starts by pointing out that
since each subject is covered by no more than one title or
series, the portrayal of Germany must of necessity be one-

  Since this book stands and works alone, with no
  competition, this book and history instruction based on it
  give pupils a structured, one-sided picture of history,
  especially German history. (Sprenger 1977, p. 82.)

No one can deny that Sprenger's view has some merit in
 principle, but it should be added that the existence of several
publishers or competing titles does not necessarily guarantee
any more variety. It has been contended that the variation
seen in Western textbooks is usually only of a technical nature
(Johnsen 1989). While some investigations indicate that all
history and social science textbooks contain similar views and
ideologies, no investigations have indicated that competition
results in any fundamental contrasts.
  Sprenger also points out the problems encountered by a
newly established state like the GDR in its presentation of
pre-1949 history. For example, the books contained more
international material from those times and placed greater
emphasis on the historical role of the working class. As
regards the brief period after 1949, the objective was also:

  formulated clearly and unambiguously: The establishment
  of a Socialistic consciousness on the basis of selected (with
  emphasis on selected) historical knowledge, which had to
  be based on the maxims of Marxist history and its
  foundation in historical materialism. (..) This applies to
  ideological education and upbringing. (P. 84.)

Sprenger also criticizes the malicious, one-sided portrayal of
Western imperialism and the capitalist system of exploitation
which appears in East German textbooks.
  These viewpoints raise several interesting fundamental and
practical questions for those wishing to investigate the
ideologies inherent in history and social science textbooks.
First: How much more "accurate" is the picture of the GDR
presented in textbooks produced in the FRG from 1949 to
1989, than the corresponding picture of the FRG that appears
in textbooks printed in the GDR during the same period?
Second: If this question were thoroughly investigated as a
basis for research and development, what ramifications would
the result have for the portrayal of Germany in the new post-
reunification history textbooks?
  In 1990"1991, history and social science textbooks
published by the Volk und Wissen company of East Berlin
were removed from schools, and the books were more or less
replaced by publications from West German publishing
houses. Neither East German authors nor new publishing
houses were prepared to write new textbooks on such short
notice. Consequently, the books already in use in the West
were introduced directly in the East.
  This situation has not been welcomed with overwhelming
enthusiasm by the other major center for textbook research
in the former GDR. That academic community, which
collaborated with researchers at Volk und Wissen, was located
at the College of Education at Halle-Köthen. An international
conference on textbook research was arranged in Köthen in
November 1990. Klaus Oestreich, a member of the college
staff, delivered a lecture called "Deutsche Geschichte seit
1945 in Schulbüchern der beiden deutschen Staaten"
(Oestreich 1990). In association with the planned introduction
of West German textbooks, a group of researchers led by
 Oestreich investigated 23 history books from a West German
publisher. In schematic terms, their comprehensive
investigation of textbook contents provides a detailed and
systematic impression of what, in the West German tradition
of history textbook revision, are called biases and prejudices.
However, Oestreich also points out that West German
textbooks contain values absolutely worth passing on and
developing further. As a supplement to Sprenger's comment
on the portrayal of Germany in East German textbooks (see
above), it may be appropriate to cite Oestreich's description
of how West German books depict the people of East

  The textbooks' descriptions of events in the GDR are often
  reduced to the power and hierarchical system, sufficing
  with conclusions, statements and initiatives delivered
  "from on high" by party and state officials. The people in
  the GDR are faceless, passive and, quite simply, misguided
  and oppressed. (...) It is therefore impossible to develop a
  balanced portrayal of "Socialism" in the GDR. There is a
  lack of empirically collected conclusive accounts and
  contemporary documents which reflect the lives of millions
  of women, children and men in the "Communism of
  shortages"; their everyday pragmatism, their express
  ability to improvise and their optimistic outlook on life.
  The people were not permanently unhappy and oppressed
  for 40 years. One might say that many people in the GDR
  have served their country diligently, tenaciously and
  unobtrusively, even though everyone did not have the same
  forbearance and there were many degrees of differences.
  (Oestreich 1990, pp. 8-9.)

The Old Germany
It is important to note that German textbook research has also
been carried out at many other, less specialized, institutions
since the 1960s. Horst E. Schallenberger, founder of the
Duisburg Institute, published a major work as early as 1964:
Untersuchungen zum Geschichtsbild des Wilhelminischen Ära
und der Weimarer Republik (Schallenberger 1964). The work
provides a survey of history books published between 1888
and 1933, illustrating how the books' views of history change
chronologically in step with political developments in society
at large. The author also discusses ethical interpretations of
values and ideals. Even in this context, Schallenberger
contends that neither ideological candor, general consensus
about neutrality, nor public approval schemes can prevent
textbooks from becoming functions of political values. Other
major works within the same school of thought are E.
Weymar's investigation of "den Geist des
Geschichtsunterrichts" in upper secondary textbooks from
the last century (Weymar 1961), and R. Kühnl's (ed.) work,
which contains an analysis of the "Geschichte und Ideologie"
in more recent textbooks in the FRG (Kühnl 1973).
  Jürgen Fröchling has conducted a comprehensive analysis
of the references to medieval cities found in German history
books written between 1871 and 1971 (Fröchling 1978). He
 discovered that their presentations varied significantly,
depending on which of the five different regimes they were
written under (the Empire/the Weimar Republic/the Third

  The medieval city (...) is interpreted differently in each of
  the five social systems investigated here, in that the
  predominant ideology of the respective societies is clearly
  part of their evaluation and assignment of emphasis. (P.

Readers have also been the object of considerable historical
ideological research. J. Heinssen investigated the reader "als
politisches Führungsmittel im Dritten Reich" (Heinssen 1964)
and P. Hasubek discussed readers in "der Zeit des
Nationalsozialismus" (Hasubek 1972). The latter emphasizes
the correlation between literary educational ideals and
prevailing (school) policy.
  As regards anthologies designed for upper secondary
schools, one suspects that the selection of material and form
of presentation may also say a great deal about social and
literary preferences. However, these more "adult" readers
number among the least investigated of all textbook types.
Apart from a few theoretical studies (see page 37), major
investigations of such books have only been carried out in
Germany. One of the best known examples is Peter-Martin
Roeder's study Zur Geschichte und Kritik des Lesebuchs der
höheren Schule (Roeder 1961). The author presents an
historical survey from the 18th century to the 1950s,
primarily discussing developments in textbook content. His
material is categorized by cultural periods (Enlightenment,
Classicism, Romanticism, Biedermeier, the
"Kunsterziehung" movement, WWI, National Socialism,
Contemporary), and the presentation is largely a survey of
themes, works and authors.
  Hermann Helmers' work on the main trends in the
development of German readers appeared nine years after
Roeder's book was published (Helmers 1970). Helmers' book
was organized in a manner which is just as unusual today as
it was in 1970. The author renounced comprehensiveness or
a thorough chronological treatment, and chose instead to
concentrate on two prominent titles from each of the six
periods into which the material was divided. Helmers wished
to illustrate new methods of systematic investigation. He
compared books from different levels by emphasizing a
neglected aspect of textbook research (the didactic adaptation
of reading materials), and concentrated on the reader less as
a direct exponent of the flow of historical ideology than as
"ein instrument der Herrschaftsausübung" (by accounting
for the background of "gesellschaftlich-historischen
  The political and social aspects of anthologies are also
discussed separately in each chapter of Roeder's work. This
is a common feature of German investigations and is most
conspicuous in an article in Bark and Pforte (see page 39).
Such a tendency supports Hanna Schissler (Schissler 1987, pp.
36-37) and Karl Peter Fritzsche's contentions that German
 textbooks are susceptible to ideological bias (see page 72).
  Siegfried Lenz' novel Das Vorbild (1973) may be regarded
as a striking example of Germany's preoccupation with
educational ideals. The motive and plot of his story are
closely tied to an assignment that directs the development of
the main characters. The story involves three teachers who
propose to edit an anthology for the lower secondary level.
They are unable to agree upon the selection of texts to be
included in the chapter entitled "The Model". Lenz employs
the conflict per se and the discussions of textbooks to portray
contemporary life.

The United Kingdom
John Ahier's book Industry, Children and the Nation. An
Analysis of National Identity in School Textbooks (Ahier
1988) is in many ways unique. First, the work is distinguished
by its approach. Ahier's starting point was a book by
American author Martin Wiener, who presented a socio-
cultural analysis of the reasons underlying economic
stagnation in post-WWI England. Wiener contended that a
culturally determined negative attitude toward industry and
urbanization was the primary cause of the problem. Ahier
wished to investigate whether or not the textbooks of the
times reflected "anti-industrial values".
  Ahier is also particularly thorough as regards methodology.
The problem of textbook analysis is covered in a separate
chapter, and discussions of the problem of methodology are
frequently integrated into the other parts of his presentation:

  Although this study was not aimed directly at the content
  and presuppositions of the Wiener thesis but did emerge
  from a concern for the possible educational derivations
  from it, it has shown the problems with such an approach
  to national or class cultures and schooling. Many of the
  textbooks that have been examined could be read as
  expressing the identifiable cultural essence of ruralism, but
  contrary images were also found when crossing the subject
  boundary between history and geography. The way the
  texts were read in this study suggested that they did not
  exist as expressions of some previous national culture, but
  as attempts to project or construct that upon which the
  whole enterprise of universal state schooling and its
  textbooks depended, i.e. an assumption that there was a
  naturally integrated distinct people existing within given
  boundaries. Combining with that the predominant practices
  and discourses of child development during the period,
  centred as they were on learning by progressive contact
  with the reality of nature, it is not surprising that images
  within the textbooks could be counted up and used as
  evidence for the thesis which explains, culturally, Britain's
  economic decline. But, in another approach, the contents
  of the textbooks could also be seen as indicating, in
  indirect and tangential ways, many of the other
   explanations of Britain's industrial decline. (Ahier 1988, p.

Ahier's conclusions are complex and detailed. He finds
himself unable to respond with a definite yes or no to
questions concerning clear, predominant attitudes toward
cultural values in textbooks. On the other hand, he is fairly
certain that the particular national portrayal drawn in the
books has not prompted the need for economic innovation.
When referring to descriptions of working life and industry
in Japanese textbooks (Ferro 1981), for example, Ahier writes
the following about books in the UK:

  For almost 100 years these books have struggled to
  represent Britain as the safe, benevolent homeland of a
  united race which, because it was the first country to
  industrialize, has been made to appear as the only one to
  achieve that condition. The benefits of Britain's natural
  and imperial fortunes have been constantly emphasized at
  the expense of both labour and enterprise. With such an
  education in the "social" subjects few alternative
  economic or political realities could have seemed as
  attractive for children as a nation at peace with nature and
  its people. (P. 8.)

There is one obvious argument that favors viewing textbooks
as reflections of cultural history. It has something to do with
the contents of textbooks becoming public property. Looking
back in time 50 years or so, one discovers that textbooks were
the main source from which the general public could seek
information about the world at large:

  To discover what ideas were held by the ordinary man in
  any period of history is one of the persistent problems of
  intellectual history. The ideas and ideological development
  of literary men can be analyzed; recent work in intellectual
  history has presented us with analyses in abundance. But
  the ordinary man, unliterary by nature, left no direct
  impression of the concepts he accepted. (Elson 1964, p.

The above passage is taken from the introduction to Ruth
Miller Elson's book about 19th century American textbooks
(Elson 1964). Elson emphasizes that the attitudes expressed in
textbooks probably have little influence on the everyday life
of pupils, in that the actions of parents and teachers play a
role which is at least as important. In contrast, references to
subjects beyond the realm of a pupil's everyday experience
may exert a stronger influence on his attitudes toward the

  Conversely, schoolbook attitudes toward ideas and people
  remote to his experiences probably influence his thinking
  more strongly on these subjects and it is likely that the
  cluster of concepts associated with other nations in his
   schoolbooks would have an effect on the formation of his
  adult attitudes toward these nations. (P. VIII.)

The material presented in Elson's Guardians of Tradition is
not arranged by subject, but according to four main themes
that occupy one chapter each: God and nature, The nature of
man, Schoolbooks and "culture", Social Experience (the last
discusses social conditions and politics). Readers/primers and
history books predominate, but geography and arithmetic
books are also represented. All descriptions include references
to the books, each of which has a code number. Code
numbers appear throughout the text, with references to page
  Elson finds that 19th century textbook texts in all subjects
all had the same main objective, i.e., to strengthen the
national moral consciousness in the United States. This goal
was the driving force behind textbook writers throughout the
entire period, making presentations distinctly normative:
"Perhaps the most fundamental assumption in nineteenth
century schoolbooks is the moral character of the universe -
an assumption at the base of American culture in this
period." (P. 338.) God rules the nation and the world, where
the hard-working will be rewarded, although often only after
undergoing extreme hardship. Defeat, illness and death are
presented frankly and sometimes brutally in these textbooks,
which make no pretense of neutrality:

  Unlike many modern schoolbooks, those of the nineteenth
  century make no pretense of neutrality. While they evade
  issues seriously controverted in their day, they take a firm
  and unanimous stand on matters of basic belief. The value
  judgment is their stock in trade: love of country, love of
  God, duty to parents, the necessity to develop habits of
  thrift, honesty and hard work in order to accumulate
  property, the certainty of progress, the perfection of the
  United States. These are not to be questioned. Nor in this
  whole century of great external change is there any
  deviation from these basic values. (P. 338.)

Another common trait in this immutable pattern is the
constant comparison with nations outside the United States,
or with non-white races within the United States. The
comparisons never fail to end in favor of the Americans.
However, Elson contends that there are clear parallels
between this feature of American textbooks and the national
image presented in European textbooks during the same
period. This observation was confirmed by Ernst-Otto
Schüddekopf, who reviewed the book in the Georg Eckert
Institute's Yearbook: "If one reads the book carefully, one
experiences a sense of being transplanted to the avaricious
climate of the Prussian state in the 19th century"
(Schüddekopf 1965-1966, p. 267). Another common
characteristic that remained unchanged throughout the
century is the fact that books stayed loyal to a static set of
conservative social values. Neither Charles Darwin, William
James, the Civil War, nor the reform movements in the 1880s
and 1890s had any influence on the values or attitudes
 expressed in 19th century textbooks.
  In the United States, the search for and discussion of the
concept of nationalism has resulted in a long series of books
about literary canon. In 1972, the National Council of
Teachers of English published a critical survey entitled
Searching for America (Kelly 1972). One main part of the
book discusses 12 anthologies from the viewpoint of the
discrimination of ethnic minorities. The other main part
consists of essays on the same subject. Much of the debate is
summarized in Russel Reising's book The Unusable Past
(Reising 1986). In one chapter, Reising evaluates the selection
and publication of material in anthologies relative to
prevailing literary tastes at the time of the books' publication.
At the same time he emphasizes the importance of market
conditions and economics as factors influencing the selection
of material. Reising's last point leads directly to part of the
core of American textbook research, in historical terms as
  One major document is The Textbook in American Society
(Cole - Sticht 1981), a publication which resulted from a
national conference on textbooks arranged by the Library of
Congress in 1979. The papers included contributions by
librarians, textbook researchers, educationalists, educational
planners, teachers, culture and media researchers and
  In his opening speech, chief librarian and cultural historian
Daniel J. Boorstin introduced the main theme of the
conference as follows:

  (...) in a free economy, a free society, the textbook is a
  special test of freedom. Can we provide basic books,
  foundation books, which present the consensus of a
  subject, chosen by a government agency or by agencies
  chosen by other agencies, and yet preserve the freedom to
  grow and the freedom to dissent, the freedom to be free?
  That, I think, is the problem we're talking about here
  today. (Boorstin 1981, p. X.)

On the one hand, the American tradition appears to be
concerned with investigating and developing national contexts
in textbooks. On the other hand, it is very concerned about
those conditions of production, marketing and approval
which ensure the books' distribution throughout the school
system. There is a direct link between the conference held in
1979 and the publication by the influential NSSE (National
Society for the Study of Education) of an entire yearbook
devoted to textbook investigations in 1990. The title of the
yearbook is Textbooks and Schooling in the United States,
and it contains research reports on the connection between
marketing and school policy, and between production and
distribution/choice of books.
  The national and market approach is summed up in the
sub-title of Frances FitzGerald's book on history books,
America Revised: What history textbooks have taught our
 children about their country, and how and why those
textbooks have changed in different decades (FitzGerald
1979). FitzGerald is highly critical of the history books used
in American schools in the 20th century. She states that for
ideological or commercial reasons, history books distort or
idolize the past, they bend to meaningless educational fads
and they are poorly written. She attributes their continued
sale to and use in the American school system to the fact that
teaching is a low status profession, lacking self-confidence
and less influential than many other conservative lobby
groups in society. Her book, which is based on a large corpus
of textbook and reference material, is essayistic and
controversial. FitzGerald's contribution to critical textbook
literature has probably received more attention than any other
book of its kind in the United States in modern times.
  Nor is the German tradition of international history
textbook revision unknown in the USA. The results of the
Japan/United States Textbook Project: Perceptions in the
textbooks in each country about the history of the other were
published in 1983 (Goodman - Homma - Najita - Becker
1983). This project was also based on the lower secondary
level. Fourteen Japanese and 28 American books were
exchanged and analyzed. Both sides discovered that the
number of discrepancies was declining but that the mistakes
were so significant that the study, like many other bilateral
investigations, resulted in a list of recommendations for
  However, compared with Germany, for example, the USA
has been the site of relatively fewer large-scale bilateral
historical-ideological investigations than investigations of
specific issues in national books. Four such US investigations
are presented here because they illustrate investigative
approaches which differ from those mentioned earlier. They
involve such vastly different topics as war and foreign policy,
the study of evolution and racism.
  W. Griffen and J. Marciano investigated how the Vietnam
War was presented in 28 lower secondary school textbooks
published between 1961 and 1978 (Griffen - Marciano 1980).
The authors compared the books' texts with The Pentagon
Papers and other public domain information about the war,
but they found no inclination toward more frequent or more
sophisticated evaluations of the war as time passed. They
concluded that the textbooks "seem to conspire to construct
an environment in which the truth is mangled and a whole
generation deceived" (quoted here from Woodward - Elliott -
 Nagel 1988, p. 129). The books not only neglected several
major negative aspects of the American involvement in the
war, but also ignored facts and background material that
supported a critical point of view.
  G. Skoog has written a comprehensive report on how the
study of evolution is presented in secondary school biology
textbooks (Skoog 1984). The author's study is based on an
earlier investigation of 83 textbooks published between 1900
and 1969. The results of that study were compared with a
more recent analysis of 10 new textbooks published between
1970 and 1977. According to Skoog, the topic of evolution
was either left out completely, or only mentioned briefly or
 casually in books published before 1960. The topic was
accorded more space in textbooks in the 1960s following the
introduction of new curricula. Yet for no apparent reason,
evolution was once again conspicuously under-represented in
the textbooks of the 1970s.
  J. Janis investigated descriptions of slavery in American
junior high school history books (Janis 1972). He compared
two different groups of books; one group from the 1950s and
early 1960s, and another group from the late 1960s. Janis
believes he has found evidence that the books in the latter
category were revised in an effort to include the results of
modern research on American history (Woodward - Elliott -
Nagel, p. 131).
  As early as in 1952, C.J. Reynolds examined accounts of
immigrants in an historical perspective (Reynolds 1952). The
author investigated history books published between 1861 and
1947, and was of the opinion that the prevalent attitudes
could be dated, i.e., be divided into periods. Until about 1890
textbooks' attitude toward immigrants was basically
"friendly". Then until about 1930, the general attitude was
"critical", after which it became generally "sympathetic".

The Nordic Countries
Ruth Miller Elson's chapter on culture in textbooks is divided
into two sections. First, she discusses views on and
descriptions of "scholarship" and the attitude toward the full
range of intellectual life in textbooks. Second, she discusses
the textbooks treatment of art and literature.
  In Lena Olsson's doctoral thesis,Culture in Flux (Olsson
1986), we find another cultural concept. The author does not
expressly discuss the terms "cultural studies" or "culture".
The sub-title of the book is Cultural Attitudes in Swedish
Geography Books 1870-1985, and the culture which Olsson
discusses is that of geography, i.e., mainly the differences
between the customs of people from different nations. The
term is indirectly defined in Chapter 5, a comprehensive
discussion entitled "Cultural Attitudes", which describes the
textbook accounts in the following order: By Levels (Racism,
Civilization, Religion, Social Structure, Population dynamics,
Technology)/Development/Selection conditions/ Present-
ation (Stereotypes, Illustrations and Vocabulary). In reality,
the thesis covers a very wide range of concepts. The wealth
of examples refers to every topic from climate, nature and
economics to Elson's brand of high brow culture.
  One aim of Olsson's thesis is to "shed light on the growth
of our knowledge of culture" (p. 19). She has selected such a
broad time perspective due to what might be referred to as
hermeneutic reasoning:

  I deliberately compare the contents of the older textbooks
  with the contents of newer, more contemporary textbooks.
  (...) Such a course of action is a step in the process of
  understanding. It casts no aspersions on the past, but rather
  contributes to greater insight into the present. (Pp. 19-20.)

 While Elson's work may be regarded as essayistic, Olsson's
thesis is systematically organized according to principles
described under the sub-heading called "The Work Process"
(pp. 27 - 29). After a thorough examination of "textbooks'
explicitly expressed attitudes toward culture", she organized
her material into pairs of contrasting themes: positive-
negative, Western-non Western, European-African,
Christian-Moslem, male-female, contemporary-historical.
Another method of evaluating the material was to investigate
"the manner in which textbook authors provided information
about different peoples, their lifestyles, their religions, their
political systems, etc."
  One important observation is that Olsson, as opposed to
Elson, did not find the same continuity in textbooks' ways of
evaluating other cultures. Elson points out that the portrayal
of Europe presented in 19th century American geography
books was invari-ably two-sided. On the one hand, the
Continent was referred to as an important center for the arts
and sciences, while on the other, Europe was described as
being afflicted by immorality and decay. Artistically
beautiful Italy is described as a filthy and disease-ridden
country; Italians are branded as immoral, superstitious
degenerates (Elson, p. 234). As regards the earlier portion of
her material, Olsson draws similar conclusions: "The
investigation of textbooks' descriptions of culture shows they
are based on a judgmental outlook, expressed through a rating
and ranking of various peoples and phenomena." (P. 194.)
However, in Sweden she finds less national self-assertion than
"Western" ethnocentrism. As far as Elson is concerned,
Olsson makes the following comment:

  (...) on the other hand, I have not found that the source
  material in any way emphasizes Swedishness. In geography
  textbooks, Sweden is primarily presented as part of the
  West. Of course, in terms of quantity, one's own country is
  discussed most comprehensively. As regards evaluations,
  however, the authors presuppose norms which are common
  to all Western cultures. That I, in this case, have arrived at
  a somewhat different result from Tingsten, Elson and
  Diestel does not necessarily mean that they have arrived at
  incorrect conclusions. In all probability the differences are
  ascribable to differences in the selection of textbook
  material. The ethnocentric evaluations will presumably be
  more obvious in subjects such as history and mother-
  tongue instruction than in geography. (Olsson 1986, p. 148;
  my emphasis.)

Reich's summary (Reich 1989) contains points which by and
large corroborate the conclusion drawn by Olsson. Reich
postulated that the selection of topics dealing with general
world politics would be strongly affected by
"nationalstaatlichen Perspektiven und politisch-ideologishen
Deutungen" (p. 265). Instead, she found she had to
concentrate on a Western European consensus or
"Sichtweise", which might also be said to be at least equally
 attributable to general educational philosophies and/or the
authors' political opinions.
  Olsson's broad historical reference base and numerous
categories (science, school subjects, the school system,
textbook content, textbook form) are reminiscent of the work
done by Göran Andolf (see page 60). The main difference is
that while Andolf uses books as primary sources of
information about the development of school subjects, Olsson
concentrates on the view of culture as one particular element
of knowledge presented in the textbooks. As the use of this
term is both comprehensive and rather vague in Olsson's
presentation, Olsson's distance from Andolf's subject
investigation is not nearly as great as it might appear at first
glance. Actually, there is more difference between Olsson's
work and that of Elson, whose research was based on several,
more limited concepts.
  National identities and national cultural expressions have
also been investigated in a few other Nordic studies.
  The best known study was conducted by Herbert Tingsten
and entitled God and the Fatherland (Tingsten 1969). Like
Elson and FitzGerald, he maintains a free essayistic
perspective towards his material. He states in the introduction
that it was not possible to discover how frequently the books
were used, and that he found it difficult to obtain the desired
number of textbooks from the five countries included in the
study (France, Italy, Germany, Austria and the United States)
in addition to Sweden. The book, which originally appeared
as a series of articles in two newspapers, is written in the
spirit of international textbook revision. In the preface,
Tingsten acknowledges Ernst-Otto Schüddekopf and the
textbook institute at Braunschweig. Tingsten's book differs
considerably from much organized textbook research in that
one author alone discusses material from six different
countries, and in that the study adopts an historical
perspective and consistently pursues one theme: Nationalism.
Therefore, in spite of being incomplete, Tingsten's work may
offer the most universal treatment we have of the concept of
nationalism in the European school book tradition.
  It is important to note that Tingsten had a special point of
departure for his work. He was "especially interested in how
textbook propaganda varied under different regimes" (p. 7 of
the preface; all quotes from the Norwegian edition: Odden
1970). Like Frances FitzGerald, as a political journalist he
more or less automatically assumes that there is a connection
between political authority and the (political) content of
  According to Tingsten, textbooks from the 1800s and early
half of the 1900s are thus pure propaganda for the virtues of
their own countries. However, during the decade in which
Tingsten wrote his book, he noted that school propaganda in
all Western countries had to give way to more complex,
internationally-oriented present-ations. This does not mean
that indoctrination and propaganda had disappeared from
textbooks, simply that "nationalism has lost ground, while the
idea of peace is more strongly emphasized, and democratic
 views are emphasized or at least used as a basis for
explanations and analyses." (P. 104.) To substantiate this
point of view, Tingsten quotes historian Sven Ulric Palme,
who refers to the conflicts which may arise between society's
express goal of teaching children to act independently and
exercise good judgement, and our general consensus (and thus
the potential for indoctrination) on the importance of values
which emphasize particular "general patriotic virtues" (p.
  Svein Lorentzen investigated nationalism in Norwegian
text-books (Lorentzen 1988). In a lengthy article, he reviews
material from more than 50 primary and lower secondary
school textbooks written between 1834 and 1982. In the
introduction, Lorentzen states that "Norwegian textbook
analyses have primarily been concerned with a horizontal
perspective." (P. 12.) The author wanted to break tradition
by investigating Norway's "national self-image" as it has
developed in textbooks over time. As defined by Lorentzen,
nationalism involves "those characteristics in the history of
the country of Norway which textbook authors themselves
wished to present, and the way in which they were
presented." (P.13.) The main objective was to "compare
history books through time, and thereby shed light on
changes in aspects of our national history which textbook
authors wished to pass on to coming generations." (P. 12.)
  Instead of focusing on individual and national
achievement, Lorentzen distinguishes between the original
situation of national "prudence" and "expectant optimism",
periods of strong national self-esteem (before and around
1905), and later developments in the direction of more
cooperation and internationalism:

  In the history books of today, it is difficult to associate the
  national self-image presented with a lack of either self
  confidence or modesty. However, the national image has
  clearly been weakened at the expense of the international
  as well as the local dimension. (P. 30.)

Lorentzen's concluding remarks may be interpreted as
comments on Herbert Tingsten's investigations. The two agree
that national patriotism has seen far better days in textbooks
- but what of it? Tingsten refers to an historian who points
out the innate conflict between ideal principles and the desire
to educate and control (see above). The last quotation from
Lorentzen calls attention to a new, increasingly significant
dimension besides the international and national ones: The
local dimension. Although Norway has had curriculum
guidelines that have emphasized local culture, we have no
investigations on how those guidelines have been incorporated
into textbooks. However, the question has manifested itself in
many countries, and a recent publication from the Georg
Eckert Institute, volume 64 in their publication series, bears
the title Regionalität. Der "kleine Raum" als Problem der
internationalen Schulbuch-forschung (Hinrichs 1990). Magne
Angvik has published an article entitled "Lokal- und
Regionalgeschichte in norwegischen Geschichtslehrbüchern"
 in the same series (Angvik 1985).

The Third World
One common problem in Third World countries is a lack of
schools and teachers, a situation which magnifies the
importance of textbooks. Textbooks represent the majority of
works published in many developing countries. In theory, the
influence of textbooks is potentially greater in developing
countries than in industrialized ones, and both the World
Bank and UNESCO have emphasized this in their practical
development efforts. However, widespread paper shortages,
generally poor economies and conditions related to copyright
rules and distribution have contributed to maintaining former
colonial powers' hegemony over the written word.
  Today, the Third World is a motley conglomeration that
also includes major nations with written traditions much
older than those of Europe. Countries such as Egypt, India
and Mexico have national publishing industries large enough
to produce their own school books. Like the former Soviet
Union, countries such as India have their own textbook
theorists and systems (McCullough 1974). In small countries
with languages of limited dispersion, the chances of books
being produced in their own native languages remain slight.
However, political conditions may also prevent national
publications in large areas. Malaysia is often referred to as a
prime example (Altbach - Kelly 1988, p.6).
  The question of using textbooks to build a national self-
image in Third World countries must be evaluated on the
basis of this overall situation. In some places it may be a
question of access to any books whatsoever, even books
directly imported from e.g. France, the United States or the
Commonwealth of Independent States, all of which had
special export programs for this purpose in the 1960s and
1970s. In other places, development has progressed to the
point where educational policy and textbook development
have begun to become an integral part of the work toward
independence. Another type of development, seen in
countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, initially involves the
translation of English and French textbooks into Swahili, for
example. The next, more advanced step will be for native
authors to write textbooks in their own languages, a
development which has proven to be extremely complex. One
major study indicates that textbooks produced in Kenya in
the 1970s established norms and ideals which digressed
significantly from the authorities' ideas: The books glorify
urban culture at the expense of agriculture and a more
widespread demographic structure. In Tanzania, on the other
hand, textbooks are written in a conscious effort to comply
with Nyerere's socialistic reform (Mbuyi 1988). In countries
in which reforms are of a more long-term and directly
revolutionary nature, it would appear that textbooks are
quickly recruited to the service of new regimes. This has
definitely been the case in the People's Republic of China
and in Iran during recent decades (Kwong 1988, Shorish
  On the whole, the problem of nation-building is far more
complex for textbook authors in developing countries in the
 1990s than it was for the 19th century American textbook
writers described by Ruth Miller Elson. Nigeria and Malaysia
are two countries that arrived at vastly different solutions to
the problems at hand in the 1980s. Textbook texts were
written in each states' respective native language in three
Nigerian states. Despite official policies, the books were
strongly influenced by ethnocentric rather than national
thinking. Books in the Igbo language discuss Igbo culture,
while books written in the Hausa language mainly refer to
Hausa culture, etc. (Okonkwo 1988). In Malaysia, the central
government has enforced a strict policy of ethnic
amalgamation. Malaysian textbooks attempt to present a
picture of a single, predominant Malaysian identity
(Mukherjee - Ahmed 1988).
  It is not within the scope of this survey to provide a
complete picture of textbook research in areas outside Europe
and the United States. Such a task would be virtually
impossible. The discussion above is generally based on a
collection of articles edited by a group at the Comparative
Education Center at the State University of New York,
Buffalo (Altbach - Kelly 1988). Most of the contributors
work in the United States, although some work in other parts
of the world (Nigeria, Dehli, Singapore, Malaya). It is likely
that background materials are or soon will be available from
more authentic sources in the near future. The question of
ethnicity and national identity will probably become the
central ideological issue in the debate on and the development
of textbooks. In light of the mobility of populations and
political structures in the world today, this problem is in no
way limited to the Third World. Angela Kubanek's studies of
West German textbooks for English as a foreign language
represent an expansion in the point of view and material used
for analysis (Kubanek 1989). The investigation covered
everything written about the Third World in 180 lower
secondary school textbooks published from 1947 to 1987. The
study analyzed the amount of material, language and
educational adaptations. Negative accounts and stereotypical,
colonial descriptions were common in books written up to the
1960s and 1970s. Later presentations were more ambivalent.
Recent books have attempted to correct this distorted picture,
but often fail because the writers themselves lack
"philosophical reflection". Their own views on the subject
are unclear, and that affects their selection of material and
form of presentation.
  Another investigation was carried out recently by Karen
Biraimah at the University of Florida: "Knowledge Control
in Developing Countries: A Comparative Study of Togolese
and Thai English Language Textbooks" (Biraimah 1991).
Textbooks used in Togo are written by French authors and
published in Paris. Thai books are written by native authors
and published in Bangkok. Biraimah's point of departure was
that "examples of neo-colonialism and "Western" messages
would be more prevalent in the textbooks published by
Western authors, while the books published in Bangkok by
Thais would represent more of a "Thai" perspective (pp. 3 -
 4). The results of the investigation refuted the theory:

   The data in Table 2 suggest that the textbook published in
  Paris devoted a far greater portion of its "global and
  national themes" to African topics than the Thai book
  devoted to Asian themes. For example, over 75 percent of
  all global and national themes in the African text focused
  on African topics, while only about 22 percent were
  concerned with "Western" topics. In contrast, the Thai
  textbook devoted 57 percent of all global and national
  themes to Asian topics, while about 30 percent focused on
  "Western" themes. (P. 5.)

Didacus Jules was Grenada's secretary of education when
left-wingers under the command of Maurice Bishop set up a
socialistic revolutionary regime in 1979. Bishop remained in
power for some four years following the bloodless coup. One
of the main planks in his political platform was his
educational policy, which entailed the rewriting of textbooks.
Jules has studied this process, which involved the rewriting
of about twenty basic textbooks (Jules 1991). His analysis
demonstrates how the revolutionary situation forces an
entirely different awareness of books than one sees in
countries ruled by established governments; the tension is
closer to the surface:

  In summary, what the Grenada experience demonstrates is
  that ideology is an inescapable dimension of text content
  and has a decisive hand in the molding of the forms not
  only of the text itself but also, and equally important, of
  the social and pedagogical interaction mediated by the text.
  In the case of Grenada, for historical reasons this process
  could not remain obscured as a dimension of the so-called
  hidden curriculum. The intense ideological contestation
  that happens in the political context of revolution ensured
  that the hidden was to be made explicit, if the hegemony
  of the former ruling classes was to be successfully
  contested. (Jules 1991, p. 185.)

Nonetheless, Jules also concludes by stating that:

  The struggles around the texts highlight the importance of
  the form and not just the content of the knowledge of the
  textbook. A progressive message can be contradicted or
  subverted by undemocratic forms, as form structures
  learning experiences (content provides substance). In
  transitional contexts, the politics of the text is conditioned
  by this dialectic. (P. 185.)

Political, Social and Cultural Conditions

Discrimination of Groups
Investigations may be largely concerned with the degree of
representation individual groups have received in textbooks -
 that approach has the longest traditions. Yet over the past
decade, the focus has turned more toward the way in which
such groups have been treated (linguistically and
  Already in the 1950s, Helga Stene demonstrated bias in the
portrayal of women in textbooks. In a popular arithmetic
textbook she found a total of 190 exercises in which a person
of a given sex was featured in an active, major role. The
protagonists were female in only four of those exercises
(Stene 1981).
  In 1977, Hjørdis Heide published the results of a study
which showed how traditional sex roles were reinforced in
two widely disseminated series of social science textbooks.
The books' authors were all men (Heide 1977). An analysis of
four textbooks in home economics for the primary grades was
published that same year. The author concluded that "none
of the textbooks examined fulfilled the requirements of the
Curriculum for Primary and Lower Secondary Education
(...)". (Solheim 1972, p. 92.)
  Tone Skinningsrud and Magnus Haavelsrud investigated
the theme of equality of the sexes in all social science
textbooks that were authorized for use in the lower secondary
school in 1976-1977 (Skinningsrud - Haavelsrud 1979). With
a view to equal status, they isolated all the textual elements
that explicitly dealt with the situation of women, measuring
the scope of the elements. Then the authors discussed what
was said in the passages thus selected from each book. The
conclusion of this combined quantitative and qualitative study
was that "none of the series satisfies all our criteria: Extent,
completeness, various causal explanations and suggestions for
strategies to improve the situation. Still, some series were
better than others, depending on how one weighted the
various criteria." (P. 218.)
  The conclusions of these last three studies are interesting
seen against the background of the Norwegian approval
system for textbooks. One of the four main parts of the
approval process deals with the requirement for the
implementation of equality in the texts. If we move further
forward in time, we find a study which concludes with a
direct reference to this system: "This investigation has shown
that a representative sample of Norwegian textbooks is not
free of indirect discrimination of girls and women (...).
Enforcement of the approval rules concerning equal status
 ought to be improved." (Vogt 1984, p. 67.)
  In the attempt to also quantify the indirect influences in
the texts, Vogt adapted a numerical method developed by
American researchers (Guttentag - Bray 1976). The
comprehensive research on the subject in the USA also seems
to reveal a trend from a low level of awareness (Trecker
1971) toward a higher one, although the problem cannot be
described as actually having been resolved (Hahn -
Blankenship 1981).
  Compared to the total production of textbook analyses, the
subject of women in textbooks is clearly under-represented
in France and Germany. One French study will be mentioned
in this context because of its original form of presentation.
The book Papa lit, maman coud (Decroux-Masson 1979)
(Pappa reads, Mamma sews) contains five chapters in which
observations and quotations from 42 primary and lower
secondary school books in French and mathematics are woven
into a coherent, chatty essay: The Housekeeper, Work, The
Boss, The Beauty, Pearls and Marbles. The presentation is
systematic, but written in a form that makes it entertaining.
  At one point in Papa lit, maman coud, the author questions
whether textbooks in France represent democracy or the
opposite (p. 123). This comment is an indirect reminder of a
selection problem related to textbook analysis. It is always
hard to know the degree to which one can or should
distinguish between topics - or levels - such as, for example,
immigrants, equality of status, or democracy in social science
books. One may ask why so few authors choose to take a
wider perspective and deal with the representation of all
groups which are supposedly discriminated. Jean Anyon
addresses this in her study of how the working class is
represented in American textbooks:

  Although it would have been equally appropriate to have
  analyzed the treatment of black history, women's history,
  or any other topic involving conflict between groups in
  society, economic and labor history was chosen partly
  because it has been largely ignored by those who have
  recently examined curriculum content, and partly because
  the relationships and social conflicts between employers
  and employees reveal basic configurations of resource and
  power in our society. (Anyon 1979, p. 364.)

The last remark in the quotation - that the employer-
employee relationship reveals something more general about
conditions in society - gives in a manner of speaking an
answer to the question of wide versus narrow approach.
Anyon comes to the conclusion that textbooks consistently
support views that promote the interests of certain groups
(those who have property and capital) and damage those of
others (workers and the poor). She writes about large
segments of society. But a smaller, more limited unit, perhaps
even a detail, can say a great deal about the whole. Both
approaches need to be evaluated in each and every case.
There are examples of studies where close reading of strictly
delimited subjects is not very profitable, and there are
comparable examples of survey analyses.
  The broadest possible approach was taken in one study of
 six series of social studies textbooks for lower secondary
school. Elliott, Nagel and Woodward (Elliott - Nagel -
Woodward 1985) seem to have worked on the assumption that
such books are and will remain inadequate. They support this
by demonstrating failure on six different levels. One of their
levels includes two topics which might appear separately in
other contexts: "Representations of women and minority
group members were unrealistic" (quoted from Woodward -
Elliott - Nagel 1988, p. 126). Insofar as one can speak of the
primary theme of the investigation, it can almost be spoken
of here as the inadequacy of textbooks.
  On the subject of minorities and immigrants, it is not hard
to find examples of great differences in angle of approach.
One investigation of the portrayal of "black Americans" in
a dozen history books published in 1983 and 1984 measured
extent and came to an average of one sentence per page
"devoted to the black experience" (Garcia - Tanner 1985.)
A subsequent study (Ellington 1986) investigated the role
"blacks and Hispanics" played in the presentation of the
topic of poverty and unemployment in twelve lower
secondary school economics textbooks published from 1980
to 1985. Insofar as the groups were mentioned, it was in
general, descriptive words and phrases. Only half the books
contained factual information about living
conditions/poverty, while only a third contained factual
information about unemployment in the two groups.
  One of the investigations that has gone furthest in the
direction of a synthesis is Christine E. Sleeter and Carl A.
Grant's study of the representation of race, social class, sex
and disabilities in 47 American textbooks with copyrights
from 1980 to 1986. The books covered the main subjects
taught in grades 1 - 8. The analyses took six fundamentally
different approaches: Picture, anthology, people, language,
story line, miscellaneous:

  Picture analysis involves tallying who is in each picture,
  categorized by sex, race (Asian, American, Black
  American, Hispanic American, American Indian, White
  American, race ambiguous, and mixed race group), and
  disability. Pictures can be designated as individual or group
  pictures. In addition, racial and sex stereotypes, and the
  social-class background or setting, are to be noted. The
  anthology analysis is for analyzing each story in readers.
  The race, sex, and disability of the main character and
  supporting characters are to be tallied, and stereotypes, the
  social-class setting, and which groups solve the problems
  are to be noted. The "people to study" analysis involves
  tallying the race and sex of each person mentioned in the
  text; this is used in science, mathematics, or social studies
  texts. The language analysis involves examining language
  in the text for sexist usage, "loaded" words that contain
  racial or sex stereotypes, and words or phrases that obscure
  viewpoints or possible conflict situations.
    The story-line analysis is used primarily with social
  studies texts. It involves analyzing which group receives
   the most sustained attention (whose story is being told),
  which group(s) resolves problems, how other groups
  appear, the extent to which these other groups cause or
  resolve problems, and who the author intends the reader to
  sympathize with or learn most about. Finally, other
  miscellaneous analyses may lend themselves to a particular
  book, such as analyzing race, sex, and roles of people in
  mathematics story problems. For each subject area, we will
  describe how books treat different racial groups, both
  sexes, the social classes, and people with disabilities.
  (Sleeter - Grant 1991, pp. 82-83.)

Their conclusion was negative:

  Treatment of diversity in textbooks has not improved much
  over the past fifteen years or so, generally, although a few
  textbooks have improved in specific, limited ways. There
  was a flurry of activity to "multiculturalize"textbooks
  during the late 1960s and early 1970s, although that
  activity never did address social class in textbooks. That
  activity may have stopped, and we may be entering an era
  of backsliding, a return to more White- and male-
  dominated curricula. (Sleeter - Grant 1991, p. 101.)

In Europe, one particular ethnic group has been the object of
more textbook investigations than any other. Representations
of the Jewish people have been studied at the institutes in
Duisburg and Braunschweig. The Braunschweig bibliography
lists a number of issues of their periodical that deal with the
subject; however, the references to the representation of
Islam in West German textbooks are even more numerous.
  One comprehensive study was carried out in Sweden. In
1989 the group for pedagogical text research in Härnösand
(see page 80) was commissioned by the State Institute for
Teaching Aids to:

  chart if - and if so in what forms - one can find racism or
  hostility toward foreigners, or such tendencies, in teaching
  aids for the various stages of elementary school, secondary
  school and public adult education. (SPOV 9/1990, p. 7.)

The group dealt with textbooks, not teaching manuals,
exercise booklets or material other than books. They also
disregarded teaching and teachers. Their objective was to
investigate the books as officially authorized expressions of
the current norms about what is "right, fitting and
important" in Swedish society. Their corpus consisted of
about 200 textbooks for all grades, in the subjects of history,
social science and religion, all published in the 1980s. The
group consisted of a picture researcher (Ewa Romare) and
three textbook researchers (Staffan Selander, Annika Ullman
and Eva Trotzig).
  The methodological background for the work was
pedagogical text analysis as described by Staffan Selander
(Selander 1988); that is, texts are viewed in light of their
institutional background. They are not products and
 expressions of individual authors, but are governed by many
forces, and thus reflect the dominant values of the school and
the age. The analysis of material selection and arrangement
therefore plays an important role in this study as well. But the
study focuses primarily on the literary aspect. It examines
language and style so that even "the significance of the
insignificant" (p. 9) - words and phrases, sentence structure,
parentheses - becomes important, not least because the group
is particularly concerned with how phenomena and events are
explained: What thought patterns and expectations lie behind
the classifications and distinctions used in the texts? By
analyzing such elements, the group believes it can not only
reconstruct a view of knowledge and a world picture, but also
uncover value judgements that are dominant but not clearly
expressed or even conscious in Swedish society. The key word
is mentality:

  Value judgements and ideologies are usually "just"and the
  normal attitude is benevolent, but the lack of flexibility in
  the light of foreignness means that certain fundamental,
  but usually unconscious, patterns of thought break through
  - what we call mentality. In this context mentality refers to
  the thought patterns we collectively share, but do not
  normally bring to the surface. These thought patterns can,
  however, be reconstructed by a critical reader - by
  studying how things are elucidated and explained, how
  they are illustrated, a picture emerges of some common,
  prevalent perspectives in textbooks." (P. 52.)

The study concluded that Swedish textbooks anno 1989 "in
a strict sense" can neither be called racist nor hostile to
foreigners. In spite of that, they have serious weaknesses. The
group finds that the books' presentations are full of
ambiguities and confused ideas. There are no clear
distinctions made between expressions such as immigrants,
refugees and guest workers. Readers get information that is
neither precise nor concrete enough for them to form an
acceptable conceptual apparatus when the pupils try to get
their bearings in the world around them. Explanations of
causes and connections are often fragmentary and haphazard.
The illustrations are marked by stereotypes and ambiguity.
  According to this and other recent studies (Mok 1991), it
is thus not the will but the ability that is lacking. This is
consistent with the textbook tradition itself. The study
concludes with a challenge to textbook authors and publishers
to come to grips with vague and so-called neutral
approximations and instead, "use narration and paradigms as
tools so that children and young people are able to understand
and interpret the world in a more subtle and knowledgeable
way." (P. 50.)
   Indirectly, the report in SPOV 9 raises the same question
as Dominique Maingueneau (see page 147); whether there is
a special school language ("discours") which preserves
educational and ideological thought patterns that promote
 stability in the school and the textbooks, but which is poorly
suited to capture or describe conflicts and changes outside of
the system. One analysis that verifies such an hypothesis on
the basis of more detailed linguistic analyses is Arvid
Jørstad's scrutiny of selected chapters of three social science
textbooks for lower secondary school (Jørstad 1979). Jørstad's
study is an edited version of a thesis on language usage
analysis. By way of introduction, he identifies his basic
premise by using a quotation: "When analyzing a text, it is
necessary to examine linguistic expression in light of the
contents. But one can also do the opposite: The formulation
of the linguistic expression is also the gateway and key to a
description of the contents." (Roksvold 1975, p. 3.) Jørstad
distinguishes between explicit and implicit statements and
analyzes the presentation of various countries' forms of
government by replacing authentic formulations with
imaginary ones ("attitude analysis by substitution"; p. 92).
His analysis of what he calls "editing" (choice of material,
subject, scope and arrangement) comes in addition to the
analysis of language usage. Jørstad also arrives at the
conclusion that the text is loaded and not apolitical. Like the
Swedish group that investigated racism (SPOV 9, 1990), the
author ascribes such attitudes more to a tradition than to a
conscious desire to influence (p. 155). This view is supported
by a study which was recently carried out by Karen Biraimah
at the University of Florida: "Knowledge Control in
Developing Countries: A Comparative Study of Togolese and
Thai English Language Textbooks" (Biraimah 1991, see page
107). Jørstad's, and more particularly Biraimah's, studies
bring relevance to questions such as: What about the world
picture in textbooks where language itself is the subject of
study? Can ideologies and reality actually be implied through
examples in grammar books, for example?
  Few investigations have examined this directly, although
Åke Pettersson's study of the example words in three
grammars used in primary and lower secondary schools point
in a certain direction (Pettersson 1987, see page 203).

Democracy and Peace
The word democracy is a revered one, often repeated in
school regulations and curricula in the countries that will be
mentioned here. Since the word also appears in the media and
in public debate with many interpretations and shades of
meaning, it is doubly important that textbooks provide
explanations that will make the concept a worthwhile tool for
the pupils' studies of current events.
  In 1980, the Swedish Textbook Committee commissioned
Thomas Anderberg to investigate references to "democracy"
in three social science textbooks for the lower secondary
level. Anderberg summed up his results in a report
(Anderberg 1981). He discovered that the textbooks followed
the curricula faithfully but that they failed to expand on the
curricula's most important universal statements. Vagueness on
difficult points was simply transferred from the curriculum
to the book. Cautiousness often bordered upon the
meaningless; controversial points were either rephrased or
  According to Anderberg, one main reason for this, in all
the books examined, is that they worked too hard to satisfy
three inherently contradictory requirements: The books
should be written so they became part of the school's general
democratic system ("the school democracy requirement");
they should give an objective presentation of the topic ("the
report requirement"); and they should encourage and inspire
pupils to accept and practice democracy ("the education
requirement"). Consequently, the books had to avoid and
evade so many factors that they lacked their own subjective,
explicitly explanatory portrayals of democracy as a
phenomenon. In fact, they are all variations on the same
theme within one and the same more or less abstract and
obscure tradition of formulation.
  A few years later, Tomas Englund published a report
entitled "On Solidarity and Conflict - An Investigation of
Political Attitudes in Educational Materials for Social Science
as well as some Didactic Observations about how Schools
Encourage Civic and Political Awareness." (Englund 1984.)
This title covers a large part of Englund's agenda. Englund,
currently an associate professor at the University of Uppsala's
Institute of Pedagogy, contributed greatly to introducing
wider perspectives into textbook analysis in the 1980s. In an
earlier study of social science textbooks and teaching
(Englund 1981), the author emphasized that textbook
investigations require frames of reference based on both
curriculum theory and sociological theory. Englund's basic
premise is that a school's social and political instruction
fulfills a special function in a civil democracy. Four
"determinants" inherent to this function decide which
information will be covered in textbooks and instruction.
They are "the promotion of solidarity, an integral base of
knowledge, the principle of objectivity, and the establishment
of the economic organization" (Englund 1984, p. 2).
  In the same vein, Englund formulated four main groups of
questions that are defined and developed as the analysis
progresses. The three most popular lower secondary school
social science textbooks used in 1984 comprise the material
for the project:

  Question 1: Which democratic principles and values are
  emphasized/dominant in the respective teaching materials
  and in which context(s) are they presented? What is the
  teaching materials' basis for evaluation (selection and

  Question 2: What kind of conflicts are dealt with in the
  textbooks and how are they resolved?

  Question 3: Which "channels" for civic influence are
  discussed and how are they related to positions in business
  and industry and society?

  Question 4: How do the textbooks deal with the question of
  economic democracy? (Englund 1984, p. 2.)
 In this way, the investigation consistently presents
fundamental questions of theory. Textbook analysis becomes
part of a didactic investigation leading to the question of
what determines the selection of content in curricula and
textbooks. Thus he goes beyond the framework of the school
system and asks whether "the time element in itself, and
thereby the cultural climate and issues of the day, have a
certain influence on the formation of teaching materials."
(Englund 1984, p. 3.)
  In a comprehensive study from 1986, "Society and Civics
in Swedish Schools in the 19th Century" (Englund 1986),
history and social science textbooks are placed within the
above-mentioned holistic framework. This and Englund's
previous work all represent a methodological synthesis of
quantitative and not least, qualitative procedures.
  Very few studies have concentrated exclusively on how
textbooks present the concept of democracy. There is no
entry for the word "democracy" in the index of the
Woodward, Elliott and Nagel bibliography (see page 27). In
a recent survey of all publications from the Georg Eckert
Institute (Verzeichnis der Publikationen, June 1990), scarcely
more than a dozen of close to one thousand articles bear a
direct reference to this concept in their titles. The survey of
educational material from the Institute contains 16
"packages", including the Third World, peace, Europe and
minorities. But democracy is not singled out as a separate
issue. However, it is evident that the theme of democracy is
either a leitmotif or one of the main elements in many
investigations into how societies and governments are
presented in history and social science textbooks, whether the
research has been done in Germany, the United States or the
Nordic countries. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that this key
concept is so rarely used as a principal point of departure.
  To a large extent, that same observation applies to terms
such as peace and the Third World. The following discussion
will concentrate chiefly on two major studies that are
representative of each of these fields.
  Brigitte Reich's work Erziehung zur Völkerständigung und
Frieden (Reich 1989) is distinguished by its thoroughness.
Describing the way she builds up her study thus involves
presenting a survey of the central approaches taken by
ideological investigations.
  The first chapter justifies the investigation and selection of
material, and sets forth hypotheses. Reich is a peace
researcher and educator. She examines how UN and UNESCO
goals regarding education as a means of promoting peace and
international understanding are achieved in five English, six
French and eight West German upper secondary level
textbooks in history and social science published between
1979 and 1984. Reich aspires to further the tradition of
history book revision, but also emphasizes Schallenberger and
Stein's view of the textbook as a politicum.
  Moreover, she aspires to show how school system structures
and the textbook market influence the books' contents:
"Textbooks are not viewed as reflections of a picture of a
(distorted) reality, but rather as expressions of prevalent,
 political conceptions of "reality'." (Pp. 7-8.) Reich uses this
interpretation of "text as the world" (see Gordon, page 147)
in textbooks to examine two levels that include selection of
content as well as language. The first level deals with
"manifest content", the other with "ideological tendencies"
(p. 9). Basically, this is a traditional dichotomy, but Reich is
the first to include books written in three languages, English,
French and German, and to treat them equally.
  The second chapter examines earlier research in this field.
Reich offers some criticism of the Braunschweig tradition
(see page 71) and emphasizes that more recent textbooks can
make use of "a broad range of questioning and investigative
methods", which should study content analysis in relation to
(limited) possibilities for influence as well as the entire
system for school book production. Further, Reich reasons
that a study of the subject "learning for peace" must
necessarily be normative.
  The third chapter investigates what Reich called the
"frameworks": The school systems in the three countries, the
position history and social science occupy in each country's
upper secondary schools, curricula and curriculum planning,
and the ratio between market/sales and production/content in
the books. One of Reich's most important premises is that the
latter ratio has a decisive influence on the books' form and
content (p. 96).
  The fourth chapter is a discussion of method, which
examines different sociologists' views on how content
analyses should be carried out. It concludes in resignation:
Sociologists' theory requirements have become so complex, so
specific and, not least, so tied to the research community
from which they derive, that "for the individual researcher,
the objective of a critical ideological analysis appears to be
almost beyond the realm of possibility" (p. 114). In her
analysis, however, she uses procedures taken from several
methodologists, which are, in each case, adapted to the topic
and questions she is examining. Reich organizes her material
into four main categories: 1) The treatment of mankind's
major problems, 2) The presentation of foreign nations, 3)
The presentation of the United Nations, and 4) The analysis
and evaluation of the causes of wars and conflicts. In the two
first categories, the most important aids are the Reference
analysis (does the topic exist?) and the Spatial analysis (how
much space does it take up in the presentation?) In category
3, Contextual analysis and Valency analysis also come into
play, and in the last category emphasis is put on more stylistic
and structural characteristics (Prototypes, Standard
  Chapter 5 comprises nearly half the publication and
includes 13 highly detailed tables in addition to text. In this
chapter, Reich explains observations (Ergebnisse), evaluations
(Auswertungen) and interpretations (Interpretationen). The
summary, which deals with each category separately, is fairly
intricate and would be difficult to outline here.
   In Chapter 6, which discusses textbooks of the future based
on the possibilities and shortcomings revealed in the study,
Reich gives a general description of her results, which
correspond with Swedish research results on the presentation
of the concept of democracy (see page 117):

  In addition, the results indicate that on the one hand
  textbooks share a common "Western European" approach.
  On the other, the selection of content demonstrates
  dependence upon the prevailing didactical views and the
  author's "political" opinions. (P. 265.)

Another of Reich's observations is that some textbooks limit
explanations about the causes of war to static models, such as
mans' innate aggression or certain nations' warring traditions
(p. 249), and that the political and military aspects of the
question are given pride of place in the presentation. This
observation coincides with the results of an American study.
Fleming and Nurse (Fleming - Nurse 1982) examined the
presentation of the Vietnam War in ten upper secondary level
textbooks published from 1977 to 1981, and discovered that
"most textbooks offer too sketchy an account of the war, but
the deficiencies are due to the neglect of certain key topics
rather than distortion, dishonesty, inaccuracy or bias"
(Woodward - Elliott - Nagel 1988, p. 128). This viewpoint is
supported in a comparable study of the presentation of the
Vietnam War in primary school history books (Logan -
Needham 1985). Even more comprehensive in terms of time
span and corpus is Griffen and Marciano's examination of the
presentation of the Vietnam War in 28 high school textbooks
published between 1961 and 1978 (Griffen - Marciano 1980).
The authors criticize textbook authors and publishers for
basing their presentation solely on the government's official
version, The Pentagon Papers, and overlooking the large
number of divergent accounts.
  There are many more examples from the United States that
reveal similar biases. However, Englund, Reich, Fleming,
Nurse and others emphasize one apparently important point:
Biases and distortions are not necessarily expressions of a
desire to exercise political influence, but may more likely be
caused by inattentiveness and/or pedagogical-didactic
textbook traditions. At an international conference arranged
in The Hague in 1989 called "NATO in History and Civics
Textbooks" (Atlantisch Onderwijs Paper VII 1990), Fay
Metcalf, head of the National Commission on Social Studies
in Schools, delivered an introductory speech during which she
raised one issue that appears to be a universal textbook
problem, an issue which may also create problems for "one's

  (...) a problem that is frequently called "mentioning". In
  an effort to include all the requests and requirements of
  the numerous districts and states, books longer and longer
  have been able to devote seemingly less and less space to
  any one topic. The leading American history textbook
  today - Triumph of the American Nation - is at 1088
  pages, the longest text now available. This book devotes a
  total of 46 text lines, scattered over some 86 pages, to
   NATO, including the organization's formation. (P. 6.)

Metcalf's observation supports Michael W. Apple's theory on
cultural incorporation (see page 148).
  Yngve Nordkvelle has investigated the presentation of
developing countries in Norwegian upper and lower
secondary school textbooks (Nordkvelle 1986, 1987). His
starting point was to check the correspondence between the
curricula and textbook texts. Nordkvelle found quite a bit of
material about developing countries, but the information was

  biased and inadequate; engendering sympathy, but
  containing negative descriptions of the people, cultures,
  economies and lifestyles in poor nations. To a great extent,
  the texts also avoid taking positions on moral and political
  issues endemic to the problem of development. (Nordkvelle
  1991, p. 2.)

As the need for clarification about the basis for ideological
criticism in the investigation increased, Nordkvelle found it
necessary to expand both his perspective and his methods. At
first, the study was extended by analyzing the educational
qualifications teachers have for teaching about developing
countries. He discovered that fewer teachers colleges offered
instruction in that topic in 1987 than in 1983.
  After that, Nordkvelle expanded his investigation to
include classroom teaching. The author observed history and
social science classes on all levels in an upper secondary
school over the course of a year (Nordkvelle 1988): "The
authority of the text is accentuated by passive teaching
methods." (Nordkvelle 1991, p. 2.)
  A final expansion was made when an analysis of pupils'
answers on social science and history examinations also
became part of the investigation. Partial studies have been
conducted on individual countries and specific problems in
the Third World (see page 105), factors which will be
integrated into forthcoming research at the Georg Eckert
Institute in Braunschweig. However, there are few examples
of investigations that cover a perspective as compre-hensive
as that of Yngve Nordkvelle.

Form of Government and World View
A more common type of ideological investigation than those
limited to an analysis of one topic, are surveys that include
topics such as democracy, peace or the Third World in more
comprehensive analyses of the presentations of forms of
government and the world in general.
  Two comprehensive attempts have been made in the
Nordic countries to examine the total content of an entire set
of textbooks in the light of ideology. Both studies were
inspired by the debate on indoctrination that took place
during the transition from the 1960s to the 1970s (see page
137). However, they represent vastly different solutions and
may serve as examples of the possible range for approaches
and results. The two attempts are the series entitled PAX
KORREKTIV (PAX KORREKTIV 1970-1971; Norway) and
Lise Togeby's The Indestructible Textbook (Togeby 1978;
   The PAX KORREKTIV consists of four booklets, each of
which deals with one particular textbook; two in history and
social science at the lower secondary level and two in the
same subjects at the upper secondary level. Two of the
booklets have one author, two have two authors. The cover
and colophon pages show that the authors oppose capitalist
systems and aspire "to uncover bourgeois indoctrination in
the school system" (dust cover). In the preface to the first
volume, Hans Fredrik Dahl writes that their intention is to
help pupils and teachers recognize "what kind of book this
is, what prejudices it contains, and why." None of the four
booklets in the PAX KORREKTIV discuss methods or
procedures. They are voluminous and to some extent highly
polemical "reviews" which partly reveal errors, partly point
out prejudices and partly suggest other angles of approach,
formulations and textbooks for instruction. As a whole, the
criticism primarily comprises the textbook authors' express
convictions and assurances that they have written the books
out of respect for fundamental democratic values - but they
say this without defining what they mean by such values:

  (...) the textbook authors have a very superficial
  relationship to what they discuss, as long as they don't
  explain in more detail what they mean by "neutrality" and
  "not free to evaluation", and why the book "cannot be
  ascribed to a particular political view" when it is
  nonetheless marked by certain fundamental values.
  Even if the authors to a greater extent than in the last
  edition point out defects in our society, they never ask
  whether their basic values even have a chance of being
  realized within our present social order. Based on this, we
  believe that the textbook may still be ascribed to a
  particular political view. (Baldersheim - Tvedt 1970,

Lise Togeby's investigation (Togeby 1978) of eight lower
secondary school social science textbooks ("the junior-
secondary school" in 1972) was performed at the Institute for
Political Science at the University of Aarhus. The report has
one scientific author who never says anything about her own
view of society or political opinions. Following an historical
survey of the subject's traditions and earlier textbook
criticism, Togeby presents her method, which is quantitative
content analysis. She has chosen this method not only to
measure the content in the books, but also to "check the
possibilities inherent in the quantitative methods. Other
methods could undoubtedly have supplemented the results of
the quantitative investigation. However, this has only been
done to a limited extent. The project has to end sometime"
(p. 49). This quotation gives some indication of the dilemma
that gradually crops up in Togeby's presentation, where the
boundaries between the registration of the totals of coded
numerical results and their interpretation become difficult.
The author herself points out that one of her chapters
(Chapter 10) "is almost exclusively based on a judicious close
reading of the textbooks under investigation" (p. 49).
  Togeby's investigation is based on a detailed system of
 measurement. The model also contains elements of content
and form which are systematically arranged into a total of 45
tables. Measurements of topics account for no more than a
small part of this material; five tables show how frequently
mention is made of the welfare state, democracy, equality
between the sexes, the labor market and developing countries.
However, a considerable amount of qualitative assessment lies
behind the arrangement of the individual tables, which go far
beyond registering the number of occurrences and pages. For
example, the table on equality between the sexes contains
categories as ways of explaining the situation and a separate
column for "General impression positive/negative" (p. 143).
The tables also measure form as an approach to the material
("aspects"), views, composition, statements (positive/
negative) and style (descriptive/explanatory/ argumentative).
  Togeby's conclusions are also representative for the
conclusions of other investigations discussed in this chapter
(Anderberg, Anyon, Hadenius, Jørstad, Nordkvelle, PAX

  The would-be neutrality shows up in the form, since there
  are no deprecating statements in the books, no discussions
  and no positions taken or arguments made for viewpoints.
  Furthermore, the form is characterized by its lack of
  meaning-bearing elements. There are few explanations,
  and there is rarely any interest shown in the significance of
  phenomena to the distribution of values in society. Things
  are rarely put into a context.
    This means that the social science books consist of a
  number of independent, concrete items of information
  about Danish social conditions, but these items of
  information are meaningless, because they are not viewed
  in relation to one another. The meaning or relevance of the
  information they carry is unclear. Thus the books are also
  very difficult to study as sources of factual educational
  material. (P. 206. My emphasis; see Kåre Lunden, page

A third investigation should also be mentioned. Already in
1969, the Swedish Textbook Committee commissioned Stig
Hadenius and Claes-Olof Olsson to undertake a comparative
investigation of the way in which upper secondary school
history textbooks presented the post-WWI era (Hadenius -
Olsson 1971). The assignment was an extension of a public
debate about the world picture presented in Swedish history
textbooks. The authors were to delimit the topic themselves.
They did that by dividing the study into two main parts: A
content analysis of the historical material from the viewpoint
of "Textbooks' picture of the world" and an analysis of the
level of objectivity in the books - the latter based on the
following point of view: "As one of the basic rules for all
teaching, the curriculum requires objectivity." (P. 2.) The
authors employed quantitative methods. A revised edition of
the report published in the Swedish Journal of History in
1971 triggered a debate on method (see page 142). It is
appropriate here to cite the conclusion which, in addition to
 pointing out the lack of balance between political material
(which dominates) and social and economic material (which
is under-represented), confirms that "old textbook traditions
seem to have had a very strong hold on the authors; the books
are conventional in so many ways." (P. 36.)
  In 1990, Rajoo Kamala and Margaret Rogers investigated
"Content Coverage by Continent" in the four leading social
studies textbooks at the middle school level in the USA
(Kamala - Rogers 1991). Their investigation was chiefly
quantitative, based on measuring to some extent the space the
books accorded to the different continents and countries, and
to some extent the representation of common political, social
and cultural topics. First of all, they found great variations in
the space according to the different continents and, second,
no explicitly justified or implicit patterns in the choices or
placement of the mention of countries or topics. As an
example of the large degree of randomness, they mention that
the term/topic of nuclear power is never mentioned in any of
the books.


Ideology, Objectivity and Indoctrination
It has traditionally been presumed that reliable, practical
knowledge would enhance moral standards and that high
moral standards would accelerate the acquisition of
knowledge, benefiting both the individual and society. These
two elements have been fundamental to all aspects of
education. The marriage of knowledge and high morals was
to yield what the Philanthropists called the happy human
being; what Christian Levin Sander, the Nordic countries'
first professor of pedagogy, termed the true human being;
what the Norwegian Basic School Act currently calls the
useful and independent human being; and what Norway's Act
related to Upper Secondary Education describes as what
might be called the useful and knowledgeable fellow human
  As time has passed, most countries have probably redefined
the knowledge aspect but left the moral aspect unchanged.
Still, no part of the dichotomy has ever been left out, despite
the fact that many modern educators would contend that the
balance has shifted toward the morals or attitudes aspect.
Those who hold this view generally call for schools to focus
more on the basics. Their viewpoint is interesting in relation
to textbooks since the books, measured as the number per
pupil/consumer, have become more numerous, more
specialized and more comprehensive. Is it at all possible, for
example, to identify certain textbook characteristics that give
some indication of the ratio between the conveyance of
knowledge and the conveyance of acceptable attitudes?
  This question illustrates one of a wide variety of problems
which can hardly be studied without considering the larger
ideological implications of textbooks. An ideology is a
prominent, more or less explicitly stated system of values
which is constantly being defended and/or attacked. Within
the context of education, it is important to examine the
relationship between the various parties involved in the
process of preserving and/or re-shaping ideologies. This also
entails investigating the ways in which this process is or is not
transmitted through the textbook corpus in its entirety. For
instance: The efforts invested in creating supplementary
teaching materials, workbooks and educational packages are
a consequence of the curriculum requirements concerning
classroom activities and practical knowledge. In turn, these
requirements are a consequence of an educational policy
whose ultimate goal in the 1970s and 1980s was to produce
 socially productive individuals. The emphasis on this
requirement coincided - or seemed to coincide - with the
development of productive resources. Thus the increase in the
number of books and their volume (measured per pupil) may
be justified as being part of the educational ideology.
  But what roles do the various involved parties play in the
process; which party is most influenced by/exerts the most
influence on and in the textbook text? Finding an answer
would require a thorough study of textbook selection,
production and use, and any answer would have to be based
on the premise that these processes are autonomous, yet
mutually dependent carriers and conveyors of ideology.
  In its broadest sense, ideology includes everything from
individuals' personal philosophies of life to political or other
far-reaching philosophies. Textbooks have been analyzed in
contexts ranging from the Marxist conception of school
knowledge itself as an ideology serving the interests of
powerful groups, to the conception of ideology more as a
system of symbols and a world view (Berger - Luckmann
1966; see Jean Anyon 1979, pp. 361-63). It is important to
bear in mind the one factor which has consistently been the
most common motivation for studying textbook ideology:

  The values and attitudes that are taught in schools are of
  obvious and central interest to the parents of school
  children, and to those who are concerned with the social
  futures that the patterns of schooling seem to foreshadow
  or with the world-view that the schools seem to reflect at
  a given time. When the values that the schools reflect
  become inconsistent with the values that groups or
  individuals hold as important or critical to their futures,
  bias is often claimed. This charge reflects, however, the
  perspective of the person or persons making the charge: It
  can be made when schooling seems to threaten the
  rejection or denigration of traditional values of religion
  and morality, nationality, race or ethnicity, sex roles and
  sexuality and the like, or it can be made because schooling
  reflects these values. (Westbury 1982, p. 31.)

Westbury points out the duality of the motives for analyzing
textbook ideologies: Studies may be motivated by the desire
to promote or defend traditional values that appear
threatened or by the desire to offset or eliminate the
dominance of these very same values. Such motives are most
readily apparent in the steady stream of contributions made
to relevant public debates in a number of countries in the
1970s and 1980s. One example of the former is the work of
the Gablers, a married couple from Longview, Texas. They
have worked as textbook critics for more than a generation,
writing regular reviews of new books. They discussed their
reasons for becoming critics in an issue of the educational
journal Phi Delta Kappan (Gabler 1982), where they claimed
that new state and regional forces threaten education and

  What was done suddenly through government force by
  Hitler has been done gradually in the United States.
   Government force, through schools, has gradually
  eliminated (banned, censored) practically all books that
  uphold, promote, or teach the basic values upon which our
  nation was founded. (P. 96.)

Norma and Mel Gabler cite the following examples of values
now disappearing from textbooks, values they want to
mobilize parents in the USA to protect: "monogamous
families, anti-homosexuality, anti-abortion, American
patriotism, morality, conservative views, teaching of honesty,
obeying laws, changing bad laws through a legal process,
etc." (P. 96.)
  A Danish pamphlet, published by literature students at
Odense University with support from the Danish trade unions
movement (Christiansen, et al., 1978), epitomizes the attacks
directed against many of these values. A second printing was
needed almost immediately and the pamphlet was reviewed
in the left-wing newspaper "Information", where the critic
wrote that "we in the labor movement can only declare that
we agree with these demands (for equality through
education). But how can we implement them in a non-
socialistic, capitalistic society, where the power is often
centered not in the national assembly but somewhere else
altogether?" (Mølgaard 1978.)
  While systematization is certainly a must for traditional
surveys and for the registration and revision of history
textbooks, it will become increasingly important to
distinguish between a researcher's philosophical and political
position and the final results of his work. In his discussion of
the methodological problems involved in textbook research,
Wolfgang Marienfeld writes that many studies of ideological

  (...) make clear the number of ways in which history book
  representations are encumbered by prejudices, contain
  factual errors, apply norms inconsistently, oversimplify
  matters, omit mention of any other possibilities, treat
  outsiders unjustly, etc. Yet because one cannot arrive at
  unequivocal assessment criteria through scientific
  procedures, such analyses themselves are at risk of being
  ideologized, and one can reduce some of the existing
  investigations down to the fact that they do no more than
  try to replace any (real or assumed) ideologies they have
  identified with another ideology. (Marienfeld 1976, p. 49.)

According to Westbury and Marienfeld it is important to
distinguish between the ideologies of those conducting the
research and the ideological features of textbook content
and/or form. Commenting upon Althusser's structuralism,
Rob Gilbert describes the distinction in this way:

  To map the structure of an image is to construct a
  representation from the researcher's perspective; a critique
  of ideology must always be conducted from a particular
  perspective. This can be seen as the overlay of one
  discourse on another, so that the network of problems,
  concepts, relationships which comprise the critical theory
   throw into relief the emphases and omissions of the
  discourse being criticized. (Gilbert 1989, p. 67.)

The vast majority of ideological textbook investigations have
been carried out by researchers with rather left-wing political
views, and they usually conclude with criticism of the one-
sidedness and conservatism of textbooks. In this context,
"leftist" means that such research also criticizes the books
from countries dominated by social democratic ideals and
government (Tingsten 1969, PAX KORREKTIV 1970-1971,
Togeby 1978, Ferro 1981).
  In a few exceptional cases, such criticism has come from
the right; a well known example from France is Bernard
Bonilauris' 151-page essay La désinformation scolaire
(Bonilauri 1983). Bonilauri, who was the right hand man of
conservative philosopher Raymond Aron, examined history
and social science books which "circulent en majorité dans
l'enseignement secondaire" (p. 7) and found that they paint
an erroneous picture of France as an exploitative colonial
power, that they underestimate the role of the individual in
society, and that they glorify social democratic systems at the
expense of liberal values. Bonilauri uses Swedish social
democracy as an example and claims that this model has been
uncritically copied by several European societies and, to the
detriment of those countries, embedded itself as an ideal in
the textbooks.
  Yet regardless of departure point, there is one trait which
dominates non-polemical literature on textbook ideologies:
The more or less explicit intention of most authors and
researchers is to analyze content to determine the extent to
which it promotes freedom and equality. Another common
trait is that analyses find the books deficient on that point.
Naturally, this may be because the researchers have similar
politically-motivated reasons for criticizing the status quo. In
any case, the results point in that direction regardless of
whether the method has been inspired by history book
revision, structuralism, or "practical discourse" (Gilbert
1989, see page 145).
  Still another common denominator is the underlying
assumption that textbooks influence readers. (Otherwise there
would be no reason to analyze them, unless of course the
object were to examine them solely as mirrors of dominant
social attitudes (see Elson, page 95)). In the 1980s the
problems inherent in that assumption surfaced as user- and
reader-oriented studies took the place of traditional analyses
of omissions and errors in the contents. Questioning texts'
readability has a long tradition, but somehow, strengthened
by researchers' more recent preoccupation with investigating
explicit and implicit elements of influence, this approach now
tends to probe deeper and may to some degree supplant the
tradition of ideological studies.
  A few examples illustrate the variety inherent in different
aspects of and approaches to ideology.
  A classic within the tradition of history book revision is
E.H. Dance's History the Betrayer. A Study in Bias. (Dance
 1960.) This book provides a comprehensive survey of the
difficulties involved in writing history textbooks which avoid
spreading incorrect information, prejudice and propaganda.
The primary point is to ascertain what the books do or do not
  Ruth Miller Elson (Elson 1964) considers schoolbooks to be
a reflection of the prevailing political and cultural aims of a
society. Elson's analysis of viewpoints and attitudes is based
on the assumption that textbooks are the ultimate mirror of
power. She refers to the knowledge contained in textbooks to
prove that their overall effect amounts to an all-out campaign
to promote North American nationalism. She cites many
examples of self-serving distortions, mainly at the expense of
the British. However, the revelation of that fact is not the
point at issue. It might be said that Elson indirectly suggests
that the drawing of edifying national self-portraits is of
necessity an intrinsic part of the ideology of textbooks.
  The research traditions of the 1960s and 1970s linked
research to history and social science textbooks. In the 1990s
questions related to textbooks in the natural sciences are
expected to be far more controversial than the issue of how
history schoolbooks should deal with Adolf Hitler. The
ideologies represented in mathematics, foreign language and
natural science textbooks will most likely be considered just
as weighty as those contained in history and social studies
  Some contemporary researchers challenge the justification
for analyzing textbook ideologies, citing the receptiveness/
willingness of pupils as the reason for their objection. Such
work must surely be based on the conviction that textbooks
do have moral and intellectual influence. In an article entitled
"Worth-less Textbooks" (Lunden 1990), historian Kåre
Lunden states that ill-conceived attempts at objectivity have
made history books so boring that they don't interest or
influence their readers. He asks "why contemporary writers
and those in charge of public approval schemes are so
demoralized that the quality of their products suffers" (p.
227), pointing out the connection between this trend and the
ideologies underlying natural science and humanities research
(see page 342).
  According to Vitz and Starr (see Holtz 1989) textbooks
have been robbed of meaning both by the left wing (which
assures the removal of positive reference to majoritarian
religion) and the right wing (which assures the removal of
positive references to socialism and trade unions). This point
of view once again raises the question asked repeatedly above:
If pedagogical texts are reduced to more or less "general"
presentation of facts and narrative, failing to confront
alternative views in ways which do present interpretations as
well as the foundation for those interpretations, they can be
accused of not being truly educative at all.
  The concept of objectivity in textbooks can and has been
associated with several different value systems. The systems
are normally of a political and/or meta-theoretical and/or
educational/ psychological nature.
   If a society genuinely wishes to root education in definite
values and to inculcate specific attitudes, this wish will be
incorporated into its high priority goals. In a pluralistic,
democratic society, this means the ideal of objectivity will be
incorporated into the political objectives of the educational
  It has not proved possible to construct an objectivity model
which is universally valid. Such models must be grounded in
scientific theory, and the underlying premises of such theory
may be or seem to be rather unclear at any given time.
Besides, the natures of individual subjects may clash with
ostensibly undisputable aspects of more general scientific
theories. (Harbo 1978, p. 357.)
  The demand for objectivity in schools must be adapted to
age levels and individual qualifications. One question which
comes to mind, for instance, involves the extent to which
teaching independence depends on (or is at all furthered by)
objectivity in the classroom. This in turn raises the question
of whose and what kind of objectivity we're talking about.
  The conflict between the individual and society parallels
the conflict inherent in the dichotomous goal of the national
curriculum, i.e., on the one hand, to foster universal attitudes
such as tolerance, open-mindedness, and impartial judgement
and, on the other hand, to instill definite political, national
and religious values. This dual set of values was intentionally
incorporated into Norwegian curricula on the grounds that
neutral values are not possible if teaching and education are
to maintain the desired perspective. Schools must explicitly
profess certain fundamental values and they must provide
impartial information about other value systems. The aim is
not individuals without norms, but well-rounded individuals.
The ideal of objectivity must be manifested by shedding light
on topics, issues and problems from different angles.
Education will thus become an expression of what has been
called "theoretical pluralism". Theo Koritzinsky describes
the problem as follows:

  The national curriculum demands objectivity, impartiality
  and neutrality of values. But it also demands involvement,
  activity, and the need to take a stand. These two sets of
  values: "Objectivity"and "Involvement"may be
  diametrically opposed to each other. Yet the national
  curriculum demands the presence of both values. Striking
  a balance between the two and determining their
  proportions is difficult, but necessary" (Koritzinsky 1977,
  p. 15).

In connection with international textbook revision in
particular, it eventually became evident that language usage
and the basic perspectives taken in textbooks inevitably entail
interpretations right from the start. Hence it became more
common during the 1970s to emphasize the formal aspect of
the representation. Some writers went so far as to maintain
 that the possibility of imple-menting the principle of
"theoretical pluralism" in textbooks was of a rather
hypothetical nature:

  Textbooks express at least formally a descriptive pluralism,
  which means an unbiased representation of several
  different sets of values. It is, however, a very easy matter
  to find empirical proof of the fact that the ideal of
  "theoretical pluralism" actually conceals a rather obvious,
  (but implicit) theoretical bias in contemporary textbooks of
  social science. This means to say that textbooks actually
  have their theoretical basis in a particular approach
  towards the interpretation and understanding of society.
  This basis of understanding has not been made explicit, but
  nevertheless it is expressed in unambiguous and relatively
  consistent forms, when it comes to the contents aspect.
  This is shown through the choice of topics and approaches,
  as well as in the choice of linguistic expressions and
  concepts. Especially the latter field provides good examples
  of the difficulties involved in realizing the ideal of
  "theoretical pluralism". (Leonardsen 1979, p. 40.)

The ideological debate about the nature of text in general, as
well as that of the formally approved textbook, have long ago
challenged the assumption (in positivist vein) that bias can
easily be removed and that "objectivity" can readily be
agreed upon as the goal of the pluralist society. Is it, for
instance, not possible that the very meaning of a pluralist
society is that it must permit different objective
interpretations of truth?
  Tomas Englund writes that the concept of objectivity can
be described by establishing a rough distinction between four
groups or "contexts" (Englund 1984). The first applies to the
description of limited phenomena, where the call for
impartiality is the most important. The second applies to the
treatment of controversial issues, where the demand for
comprehensiveness is the most important. The third applies
to the democratic aims of education, where the analysis of the
relationship between the high priority aims/values and the
call for objectivity is the most important. The fourth applies
to what Englund calls "the school's latent fostering
function", where it is the relationship between the
substructures that Rob Gilbert writes about (Gilbert 1989; see
page 145) and the call for objectivity that are the most
  When discussing these groups, Englund stresses the fact
that they overlap. His comment to the classification may also
be seen as a comment to the various points of view and
statements quoted above:

  It is obvious that these contexts (1-4) cannot be completely
  separated from one another. Every description of a social
  phenomenon contains a selection of perspectives and
  knowledge that may often be viewed in a different way or
  from other perspectives. Thus the question of
  controversiality often depends on the "presence" of
  different perspectives, which in turn depends on the
  degree to which the social phenomenon is actually seen in
   a larger perspective. In a more limited sense certain
  "facts" must be imparted, of course, but as soon as more
  complex relations are to be taught there is an increasing
  demand for comprehensive information. (Englund 1984, p.

In the Nordic countries the debate on educational ideology
started in 1968 with the publication of Göran Palm's book
Indoctrination in Sweden (Palm 1968). The author deals with
indoctrination in relation to a number of different media.
One of his main chapters is entitled "Democratic
schoolbooks". He characterizes the books as being a biased
defense of the established order:

  If we look beyond the latest textbooks' appealing layouts
  and educational refinement, we rather quickly encounter
  a defense of the established order that rarely leaves any
  margin for doubt, afterthought or discussion (....). This
  boring of the coming generation has been given a strange
  name: "the education of involvement'. (Pp. 50-51.)

In the introductory chapter Palm discusses the concept of
indoctrination. He points out that the term may refer to
teaching or to indoctrination through teaching, but he
cautions the reader against believing that all types of
influence automatically imply indoctrination. His explanation
proves how difficult the concept is to apply, or rather how
dependent the concept of indoctrination can be on the
author's (polemical) ego:

  (....) I have reserved this term for those influences which
  directly or indirectly involve politics or political views. (...)
  The teaching of the church doctrine on Trinity for instance
  I do not consider to be indoctrination, since this doctrine
  does not have any political relevance, while the priest's
  admonition on how to relate to authority or to work should
  be called indoctrination. In my opinion, indoctrination is
  also something done from the top and directed downwards
  in society, from those in power or those few who mold
  public opinion and down to the more or less powerless
  majority (...) (p. 8).

We find the same philosophy expressed slightly differently by
writer and philosopher Jon Hellesnes:

  Indoctrination is a bad thing. Indoctrination implies that
  one lets the coming generation learn how to understand
  their own situation, using the ideas of the authorities,
  instead of learning how to trust their own common sense.
  (...) Politicization, on the other hand, is a good thing, since
  it does not occur as a result of some unthematical,
  subjective philosophical standpoint, as is the case of
  indoctrination. Politicization is committed to what is true
  and reasonable. Since that which is true and reasonable is
  not something definitive and unambiguous, politicization
  is of necessity connected with dialogue. (Hellesnes 1975, p.

One book quite unique in a Nordic context is Indoctrination
or politicization? Form and contents in the teaching of social
studies at the lower secondary level. (Age group 13 to 16.)
(Haavelsrud 1979). The book examines social studies
textbooks approved in 1976 for use by pupils at the lower
secondary level. Six researchers evaluated the books from the
following angles: The objectivity in chapters on technical
development and rationalization, the time perspective of the
chapters, and how the books deal with juvenile delinquency,
conflicts and topics such as equal rights. In addition, the book
contains a report concerning practical classroom activities and
two theoretical introductory chapters which discuss
evaluation criteria and the ways in which pupils may be
influenced by textbooks. Altogether, the wide range of
contributions in the book provides a good foundation for a
comprehensive survey of problems and options within the
framework of ideological textbook analysis, as assessed by
political scientists.

Hermeneutic, Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
It is important to emphasize that the term ideological
investigations used in this presentation covers an extensive
body of content analyses. It embraces all four of the main
categories of investigations that Peter Meyers employed in his
survey of West German research up to the 1970s (Meyers
1973). He grouped the analyses according to the following

- To eliminate the potential for conflict and pave the way
  for peace and international understanding.

- To find out how the books can promote democracy and

- To examine the books to see how they glorify their own
  political system and condemn other systems.

- To analyze the books in order to reconstruct a political
  picture of the times.

A few years later Wolfgang Marienfeld made a classification
system containing six categories (Marienfeld 1976). It, too, is
based on the objectives of the investigations, but it also
suggests new directions:

- To determine how a nation or a culture sees itself at a
  given point in time.

- To analyze the books from the perspective of the
  individual subject in an effort to evaluate them as teaching

- To determine whether the books discuss fundamental issues
  (historical forces, causal explanations).

- To evaluate the choice of and rationale for the material
  with emphasis on the perception of values.

- To conduct international history book revisions.

- To investigate how books are used in the school.

Marienfeld's survey incorporates two categories (subject/use)
which I discuss in chapter IV. The same chapter also contains
a partial discussion of one of Marienfeld's categories - to
determine whether the books discuss fundamental issues. The
boundaries between the various categories set up by the
authors of the two German surveys will of necessity be quite
  But how, within or across such boundaries, have textbooks
been analyzed?
  As late as in 1965, Georg Eckert's close associate Otto
Schüddekopf wrote: "There are no methods or didactics for
working with textbooks; such work is a pragmatic art which
has developed while being done since 1918 and especially
since 1945." (Schüddekopf 1965.) Some ten years later,
Wolfgang Marienfeld criticized many textbook analyses for
being too one-sided (Marienfeld 1976, see page 131). He did
this in a lecture delivered in Braunschweig, where he
described and evaluated three main types of methodo-logical
approaches: the hermeneutic, the quantitative and the
  Marienfeld's descriptions are cited in this study because
they deal with the procedures that dominated the field in the
1970s and 1980s. These procedures were applied singly or in
combination, and they embodied the same basic concepts. The
studies examined the textbook as a process, an instrument and
a product. Involving both single books and book series, they
also looked at the situation in various countries.
  Marienfeld's survey was subsequently presented in an
article in the Norwegian Journal of Pedagogy (Angvik 1982).
The following methodological characteristics are partly based
on Magne Angvik's article.
  The hermeneutic or descriptive-analytical method has also
been called the traditional historical method. The work
focuses on the textbooks, i.e., it is source-centered. But
textbooks are compressed versions of other and in turn other
versions. How can it be proven that analytical conclusions
about something like the de facto objectivity of a book are
irrefutable? Is it at all possible to find a means of discerning
the social perspective of a textbook that is so reliable that
another researcher would inevitably reach the same
conclusions by following the same procedure? And if such a
means were discovered, wouldn't it simply reveal the
limitations of the method? There are countless pitfalls
inherent in citing textual evidence and quotations, especially
when it comes to examining ideological content. The risk is
least in connection with investig-ations of individual works,
but it increases with comparative and contrastive studies. The
 practice of analyzing groups of books has been virtually
universal, covering a long line of approaches varying from
the impressionism of Tingsten 1969 to the meticulous source
references of Elson 1964. Please note, however, that even
Elson's selection procedures cannot be evaluated.
  A quantitative analysis of content helps ensure scientific
veracity in the sense that it produces verifiable results. The
method is based on empirical research developed in the social
sciences, i.e., sociology. Spatial analyses measure size, e.g.,
the number of lines/pages devoted to a particular issue. This
provides an absolute as well as a relative measure of the
importance an individual publication attaches to the matter in
question. Frequency analyses measure the number of times
certain phenomena are mentioned, so they provide a good
supplement to spatial analyses. The advantage of the
quantitative method is that the results can easily be checked.
This applies more to educational investigations (types of
assignments, e.g., active ones compared with passive ones)
than to ideological investigations. Both the possibilities and
the problems are discussed in Andolf 1972 (see page 60). He
himself has taken the method to the extreme, and he
specifically pointed out its primary weakness in an article
published the year before (Andolf 1971). There he discusses
another investigation of the picture of society presented in
Swedish history books (see page 126). He exposes how
unreliable that picture is because the authors have failed to
justify and explain their use of categories and units of
measurement. For example, the authors write that evaluations
account for a total of ten per cent of the text. Andolf points
out that this item of information cannot be accepted as
quantification because no norm has been furnished for the
scope of each individual evaluation: "for the amount of
surrounding text the evaluation supposedly covers". Other
weaknesses are pointed out by Lise Togeby, who has used the
method herself (Togeby 1978, see page 125):

  If one accepts that one must only describe the content
  manifest in the text, one is soon confronted by the question
  of whether it is worth the effort. The problem is that the
  more objective and quantitative the description of the
  content, the less interesting it becomes. Quantitative
  content analyses frequently produce reliable, but trivial
  results. (P. 48.)

In the lecture delivered in 1976, Marienfeld advocated a
synthesis which would combine the hermeneutic and
quantitative methods, preserving the best aspects of both and
reducing their innate weaknesses. This qualitative method
relies on a detailed system of categorization which may
include content, sources, presentation, extra-textual
enhancements and assignments. The idea is to quantify
qualitative elements. For example, questions which come
under the category "wealth of information" may be posed.
They will subsequently be graded according to scales
arranged in complex tables containing systems of symbols.
Such work has a strong tendency to "swell" and is most
useful in connection with limited-scope analyses that cover
 narrowly defined topics. The most thorough example is an
investigation conducted by Marienfeld and Overesch of the
image of Germany and the German question (Marienfeld -
Overesch 1986; see Jacobmeyer 1986). Based on a descriptive-
analytical reading of the books, they established 135 content
categories, which were related to a quantitative registration
of "Germany" (spatial and frequency analyses). This
provided the basis for what Marienfeld calls a qualitative
analysis of content. It includes both ideological and didactic
(extra-textual enhancements and assignments) traits. In their
discussion of methods, the authors draw attention to two
unfortunate limitations: First, that language and presentation
fall outside the scope of their investigation and, second, that
the material and procedures they used did not allow them to
provide any empirical rendition of the philosophy and the
world view behind the registered presentation of Germany
("Weltbild", "Wissenschaftsverständnis",
"Problemverständnis"; p. 16).
  A comparison between Andolf's explicitly quantitative and
Marienfeld/Overesch's explicitly qualitative analyses would
probably not reveal any major methodological differences
(see the discussion of Andolf on page 62). Marienfeld's
attempt to achieve a synthesis and his acknowledgement of
the fact that the solution was not as comprehensive as he
would have liked raise the question whether there may be
other valid definitions and procedures.

New Directions
The option of combining quantitative and qualitative methods
is far from controversial in social science circles anymore
(Holter 1990), although as recently as in 1991 Kathleen
Oberle claimed that:

  Over the past decade, the qualitative/quantitative paradigm
  war has continued in educational research. A careful
  analysis of the epistemological, ontological and
  methodological bases for the argument reveals no
  substantive reasons for clinging to the belief that the
  qualitative and quantitative paradigms are incompatible.
  Indeed, most of the participants in the debate elect for a
  combination of approaches to research. Nonetheless,
  despite the fact that there is evidence that qualitative
  research has an important role in the advancement of
  knowledge in education and psychology, positivist
  (quantitative) research is still dominant in the literature.
  (Oberle 1991, p. 87.)

Most textbook researchers, many of whom have social science
backgrounds, begin their presentations by comparing
quantitative and qualitative methods. Such comparisons have
never been brought to a logical conclusion, however; thus far
researchers have been satisfied with pointing out the
advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and then
choosing a solution which points in a more quantitative
(1970s) or a more qualitative (1980s) direction. This largely
ritual "apology" may be seen as symptomatic of the problem
textbook research has had with scientific validity, which
 some would claim has become too one-sidedly tied to the
social sciences. The problem of measuring content ought
really to be seen in the light of general educational history
and humanistic research traditions as well. Historically
speaking, schools in Western countries have changed from
being institutions that loyally passed on knowledge and
cultural heritage to being institutions that pass on more
emancipatory ideals. Thus the farther back we go in time, the
less interesting it is to know if textbook analyses are geared
toward assigning numbers to elements of content in order to
expose fairly obvious ideological dominance. Of course, the
more recent pragmatic tradition which emphasizes practical
instruction invites measurement. But then we are talking
about user studies that gauge effectiveness and acquired
amounts of learning, a field of research in which the former
East Germany has gone far.
  The 1980s saw the emergence of criticism of traditional
content analyses. One example may be found in Arvid Jørstad
(see page 115), a style researcher who began his investigation
on the basis of the following premise:

  There are no recipes for analyzing the attitudes that lie
  behind a linguistic expression, nor is there any objective
  method for either verifying or disproving the results of
  such an analysis. (Jørstad 1979, p. 154.)

Another example may be found in Caspard 1984, an historian
who castigated an American study of petit bourgeoisism in
French primary school books used from 1830 to 1880
(Strumingher 1983). He asked what point there is in
mobilizing an overburdened analytical apparatus and
drowning the reader in a "flood" of trivialities that are so
conspicuous there is no need to measure them. (Caspard 1984,
p. 69.)
  A third example is Brigitte Reich's investigation of
textbooks in West Germany, France and Great Britain. In her
introduction she dissociates herself somewhat from the most
common tradition in history book revision:

  (...) the common conviction that 1) the textbook comprises
  an important medium in the learning process and that 2)
  changes in textbook texts also entail changes in pupils'
  ideas and attitudes, had to be relinquished. (...) However,
  in recognizing that, one is not questioning the value and
  usefulness of textbook analyses and revisions; one is
  assessing their value within the framework of empirical,
  sociological research, which must also investigate a number
  of factors and processes, although "specialization" still
  remains useful. (Pp. 33-34.)

Rob Gilbert of the James Cook University in Australia has
analyzed ideological textbook criticism from an historical
perspective. In the article "Text Analysis and Ideology
Critique of Curricular Content" (Gilbert 1989), he surveys
the English language portion of such textbook research.
According to Gilbert, the first step in the development of
such studies was the traditional revision of history books,
   ... the critic's task was to identify those elements of
  curriculum materials which departed from the ideal of
  objective description, analysis and explanation of "the way
  the world is'. However, objectivity has come to be seen as
  a highly problematic concept, and this traditional
  perspective is now regarded as a narrow view of how
  ideology can operate in school texts. (P. 61.)

Methodologically speaking, this tradition ("traditional
approaches") has been dominated by quantitative content
analyses, which Gilbert argues are "theoretically reductionist
and methodologically superficial" (P. 63).
  The next step in the development was "Structuralist
Analysis", when researchers began to show an interest in
"organizing structures of a more comprehensive but less
conspicuous nature" (p. 64). There is an underlying structure
that represents definite interests and which in itself produces
opinions and attitudes. To uncover such structures one must
ask what factors, for example, have been identified as or
considered to be social problems, whether socially
controversial material and possible ways of handling it are
discussed, and, if so, what philosophy lies behind these
choices. The analysis becomes a "semiological analysis of
ideology, posits and underlying logic from which the sets of
relations in meaning systems are derived." (P. 64.)
  Gilbert describes a third step in the development under the
heading "Text and Context: Texts and Classroom Use".
Structuralism is criticized for getting bogged down in
mechanical interpretations of how underlying patterns affect
readers and for focusing on pre-conceived biases at the
expense of the more comprehensive process during which
these structures are developed, when dealing with textbook
readers for example. In other words, as a product, a textbook
must also be analyzed in light of the entire reading and
teaching process of which it is a part. We are dealing with a
whole "complex of discursive practices and meanings" (p.
  Gilbert does not reject any of the traditions he discusses.
His point is to apply them expediently in light of more recent

  (...) the stage is set for the entry of what has come to be
  known (not, perhaps, very informatively) as post-
  structuralism, a collection of methods which try to expand
  conventional concepts of language, thought and knowledge
  by exploring their limits and questioning their validity. (P.

A less vague formulation of the same train of thought may be
found in Tomas Englund:

  It is probably possible to distinguish between descriptive,
  controversial and normative factors by means of analysis
  when examining the treatment of one specific subject by
  a teaching medium, but in that particular subject as a
  whole and, naturally, even more so in the teaching process
   as a whole, these various factors make up a single entity
  for the pupils, that affects them in a specific way.
  (Englund 1984, p. 11).

This view supports the holistic interpretations of
Maingueneau 1979 and Gordon 1988.
  As is indirectly evident from the above, France has
relatively modest traditions as far as ideological studies are
concerned. One of them stands out because it has an objective
and a method that go beyond those of the vast majority of
ideological investigations (Maingueneau 1979). Dominique
Maingueneau's study of French textbooks from the Third
Republic (1870-1914) has the subtitle "discours et
idéologie". The author is a linguist whose basic premise is
that even grammar books are ideologically loaded. It is no
coincidence that fundamental attitudes ("idéologie") are
regularly reflected in the textbooks' examples and their
organization ("discours"). Through a detailed analysis of one
grammar and one reader in particular, Maingueneau shows
how they build up a number of definite conceptions of e.g.,
"French", "Algerian", "African", "Fatherland" and "the
People". The analysis concludes with a surprising
observation, the grounds for which are presented in a chapter
that is 100 pages long. School and textbooks are not only
instruments for transmitting values from a society to its
individual members:

  The language and expressions that textbooks and the school
  use about "the world" (in all circumstances) comprise, at
  the most profound level, a text ("discours") about the
  school itself. It is exactly as if everything the school
  proclaims first takes on meaning in the light of its own self
  image. That is the final paradigm; it is here that the endless
  stream of metaphorical processes reaches its saturation
  point. (Maingueneau 1979, p. XV.)

The viewpoint that the school has - and in a way becomes -
its own language, has concerned researchers with
philosophical, linguistic and pedagogical backgrounds. In a
long article in Curriculum Inquiry (Gordon 1988), David
Gordon uses concepts from Paul Ricoeur's and Clifford
Geertz's theories about action as text (Geertz 1980, Ricoeur
1981). Gordon transfers the concept to the area education as
text and analyzes what he calls "the hidden curriculum":

  The hidden curriculum is a reading of an educational text,
  normally performed by students. However, as Ricoeur
  argues, texts can be read by anyone. The question then
  arises: which sort of hidden curriculum is read not only by
  the students, but by all members of society? What sort of
  reading of society's experience is provided when education
  is a text read by all? I propose the hypothesis that
  education then becomes a text about society's myths and
  sacred beliefs. (P. 425.)

Gordon regards school and education as a "cultural text"
 whose deeper lying meaning is formed by society's way of
reading or interpreting its own "experience". He refers to
the sociologist J. W. Meyer (Meyer 1977), who claims that the
schools' paramount ideology is not this or that subject or
propensity in curricula or books, but the school itself, with its
categorization of knowledge and people. As regards the study
of textbooks, Gordon draws no direct conclusions. However,
one obvious conclusion is that interdisciplinary textbook
studies are necessary to reveal the hidden pattern; the
paramount ideology of the school and/or society. This point
may in turn be tied to Maingueneau's study, which not least
by its method (see page 364) underlines the need for
evaluating textbooks as a genre and seeing them and the
school as a literary institution.
  According to Maingueneau, Gordon, Gilbert and Englund,
it is important to question the school's and society's own
"cultural text" within or in addition to the individual
subjects and topics in the textbooks. Political, social and
cultural conditions make up a totality that one must take into
account regardless of which subject forms one's angle of
  Researchers such as Michael W. Apple are especially
concerned about the "cultural incorporation" entailed by an
expanded definition of context. He refers to the many works
which argue that the organization of knowledge for schools
is an ideological process which serves the interest of
particular classes. Apple, who also argues that the textbook in
western society represents the indoctrination of capitalist
ideology, wishes to point out that conflicts arise continually,
making it difficult to determine the superordination or
subordination of particular groups.

  Curricula are not imposed in countries like the United
  States. Rather, they are the products of often intense
  conflicts, negotiations, and attempts at rebuilding
  hegemonic control by actually incorporating the knowledge
  and perspectives of the less powerful under the umbrella of
  the discourse of dominant groups.
  This is clear in the case of the textbook. (...) Textbook
  publishers are under considerable and constant pressure to
  include more in their books. Progressive items are perhaps
  mentioned, then, but not developed in depth. Dominance
  is partly maintained here through compromise and the
  process of "mentioning". (Apple 1991, pp. 25-26.)

Allan Luke refers to the same phenomenon as "incorporative

  The incorporative power of the modern textbook is
  frequently overlooked precisely because of the public
  volatility of past and current disputes over textbook
  adoption and censorship. Overt textual content has been
  and continues to be a focal point for dissent, as Arons and
  other who have examined censorship and textbooks and
   First Amendment rights rightly point out. (Arons 1989, my
  comment.) But despite ongoing disputes over, for example,
  the selection of "controversial" literature in secondary
  literature curriculum, or Creationism in the science
  curriculum, it would be erroneous to see the contemporary
  textbook as constantly contested. For we hear little each
  year about the thousands of textbooks, produced by
  multinational publishers in English-speaking countries,
  that are adopted and taught without dispute. (Luke 1991,
  p. 185.)

If we look at more recent curricula, we see that their
objectives point in several main directions which are given
equal emphasis. The school is to educate effective and
tradition-conscious citizens in a society characterized by
solidarity, but these citizens are also to develop into
independent individuals capable of taking a critical look at
the society in question. Since such goals apply to every
subject, textbooks will not find it easy to assume the holistic
view required to reconcile concerns regarding traditional
edification, effectiveness and independence. In turn, this will
also apply to textbook analyses: They, too, must adapt to the
trinity of tradition, pragmatism and emancipation. At that
point it won't be enough simply to distinguish between
quantitative and qualitative methods. The need for humanistic
methods of text interpretation will grow stronger as texts
increasingly become forums for discussions of conflicting
views. To the extent that it is possible to refer to textbook
investigations' own ideology, we might say that it has to be
revitalized both with regard to the understanding of content
analyses, readability measurements and educational-didactical
analyses. A comprehensive work by Alain Choppin, Les
Manuels Scolaires: Histoire et Actualite, published in the
autumn of 1992, supports this way of attacking the problem.
Choppin gives a thorough pedagogical, economical,
ideological and historical definition of the role of the
textbook in France.

Insofar as textbook criticism has had consequences, it is clear
that the effects have primarily been manifested as changes
implemented in connection with revisions and new
impressions of established titles. By comparison, new authors
in radical opposition to the established order - in schools and
in society at large - rarely write new books with ideological
frameworks like the one Göran Palm is looking for (see page
  A common argument against writing radically different
textbooks in countries like Norway and Sweden is the
existence of approval schemes. The issue of what preservative
or preventative role such schemes can play in this national
context - or in a more international one - will not be
discussed here. However, some Norwegian authors once made
a rather renowned attempt at writing a history and social
 studies textbook "from a viewpoint in keeping with the
interests of the lower classes" (p. 3). The book, entitled
Onward and Never Forget (Bakkemoen, et al., 1974), focuses
on oppression, liberation and the struggle between the classes,
as defined in Marxist terms. It breaks with practically every
genre tradition except the one pertaining to chronological
order. Onward and Never Forget was never submitted for
approval, nor did it ever gain much popularity in Norway or
Denmark, where it was published on commission. Two of the
book's creators were subsequently hired to work in the school
book division of one of Norway's largest and most traditional
publishing houses. The book was analyzed by Bjørklid and
Pryser in an article that asks which form of indoctrination is
predominant (i.e., in the mid-1970s): "We venture to allege
that the form can be summed up as accommodation."
(Bjørklid - Pryser 1975, p. 52.) This accommodation
ideology, which forms a contrast to demands for politicizing/
ialogue, can lead to a more administrative role for teachers
and a more instructive role for the books. The authors believe
such an ideology is prerequisite to the progress of educational
technology. In any case the point of view is significant for
illuminating the relationship between society, school
authorities, publishing houses and teaching.
  Of interest also are the criteria Bjørklid and Pryser use to
evaluate the degree of indoctrination in Onward and Never
Forget. On the one hand, they commend the book for
"showing itself clearly for what it is" (p. 54), but then they
add that one can hardly expect bourgeois history books to
state in the introduction that they present history viewed
from the perspective of the upper class. The latter would
clash with our bourgeois ideology of equality. However,
Bjørklid and Pryser also point out that the authors of the
most conventional books neglect to comment on how they
have assigned priorities and made selections. The two critics
postulate that indoctrination exists in everything which is
dealt with for no apparent reason and in everything which is
omitted for no apparent reason. Bjørklid and Pryser
recommend Onward and Never Forget
only as a supplement, not an alternative to existing books:

  What we see as most negative is that the exploitative point
  of view has led to a far too emphatic and unnecessarily
  black and white picture, which in some cases prevents a
  deeper understanding. (...) Under any circumstances the
  effect that this (that is, using the book as a supplement; my
  comment) would have on the learning process would, in
  our view, doubtless be to stimulate dialogue. (P. 58.)

Although dialogue is mentioned in this quotation, an overall
view of the subject shows that most ideological studies have
quite convincingly demonstrated the absence of any such
dialogue-stimulating effect.
  While there aren't many obvious examples of instances in
which the results of investigations employing more
ideological or literary approaches have been incorporated into
 official programs, they do exist. In 1988 the California State
Department of Education published a report on evaluation
criteria for textbooks in history and social studies (California
Board of Education 1988). The report was written for
publishers in particular, and its contents "should serve as
standards for the statewide adoption of instructional materials
in kindergarten and grades one through eight; they can also
be used as guidelines in preparing and reviewing instructional
materials for grades nine through twelve." (P. 102.) The most
striking feature of the guidelines in this report is their
emphasis on the books' literary qualities. The factors
traditionally considered most important, e.g., how the books
further the goals and ideas contained in the curricula, are
covered in one short paragraph, which is subsequently
followed by 14 paragraphs giving detailed instructions about
the stylistic and compositional formulation of the texts. The
outline concludes by stating that:

  The ultimate test of any textbook or instructional material
  is to engage the imagination of the reader. No matter how
  graphically the textbooks are illustrated, no matter how
  many experts are hired to certify their validity, and no
  matter how many claims are made on their behalf as
  conveyers of skills and concepts, the textbooks will fail
  unless they excite the enthusiasm of the students who read
  them. (P. 105.)

Another form of innovative thinking was expressed by
certain English historians who wanted to give textbooks a
new image (Booth 1980, Lund 1990). They suggested that two
new elements be introduced in an effort to supplement the
traditional outline presentation. First, they advocated the
inclusion of source material as a major component of the
books. Second, they prescribed that presentations be written:

  (...) bearing in mind that the pupils should work with and
  acquire insight into concepts which are fundamental in
  history, but which traditional textbooks seldom make
  anything of: Concepts such as causality, empathy,
  change/continuity and similarity/difference. These are
  concepts on a far higher level of abstraction than
  revolution, democracy and dictatorship. But they ought to
  open to new horizons and produce a different sort of
  meeting between pupil and history than "traditional"
  history does. (Lund 1990, p. 22.)

To achieve objectives like the one conceived by Lund
("produce a different sort of meeting between pupil and
history") we would need radically new and improved
approaches to the "art" of writing textbooks, approaches
indicated in analyses such as Armbruster - Anderson 1984,
Crismore 1984, Julkunen 1990 and Åhlberg 1991 (see page

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