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Apr 19 2008 - 05:13 PM
Franco-German High School History Book Project
Here is an interesting joint history textbook project in France and Germany. This idea of creating a joint history textbook for the youth in France and German came from high school students in the 2003 Franco-German Youth Parliament, and was endorsed by former French president Jacques Chirac and German federal chancellor Gerhard Schröder, which led to the formation of a German-French project team and the publication of a three-part series of textbooks. The first book, "Europe and the World Since 1945" came out in 2006, and sold 40,000 copies in both German and France. The second book, "From the Industrial Revolution to World War II", published earlier this month. This joint history textbook project is a great step of reconciliation between countries with conflicting past. However, the textbook is a product of consensus, which leaves out valuable disagreements among those historians who participate in the project (For instance, they disagree with the contribution of US in the postwar Europe). I think what students need is not only a textbook of consensus, but also an understanding of different historical perspectives and how those views are formed within their respective social contexts. Technology such as web conferencing may contribute to this aspect (with other pedagogical arrangements) by bringing French and German students together to discuss their perceptions and understanding of the conflicting past.
|By: Ching-Fu Lan|22316 Reads