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Författarröst och lärobokstradition: en historiedidaktisk studie
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Teacher Education in Swedish and Social Sciences.
1997 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The textbook tradition and the Voice of the Author : A Study in History and Didactics (English)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation deals with the writers of high-school history textbooks and their way of writing history. Questions concerning who has written these books, why and how they have done so, and what they have written, are posed from a didactic perspective.

In order to answer these questions, the author has employed the method of oral history. Initially, thirteen of the original sixteen authors were interviewed. After that, life-story interviews were conducted with one author each selected from the three categories of textbook authors determined by the first round of interviews. Seven of these authors' textbooks (comprising fourteen book sections) were studied in a more summary fashion, whereafter a more in-depth analysis of how these authors' books present the period 1914-1945 was undertaken.

The study showed that the writers were middle-aged or elderly, middle-class men living in the southern regions of Sweden, whose political sympathies tended toward liberalism. They provided a number of different reasons for choosing to write history textbooks, though monetary considerations seemed to have been more or less overriding.

Writing seems to have been a solitary job for them, even if they belonged to a team of writers. There are many uncertainties concerning the main didactic ideas motivating their writing. There also proved to be a distinct difference between those writers who identified themselves as researchers, and those who called themselves teachers. Resarchers have included new results in their textbooks to a greater degree, provided a more multifacetted view of history, and written more on the problems of historiography. The teachers have written a simpler, more story-telling type of prose, while their books have also provided more suggestions for practical solutions to teaching problems. Their books have also sold far better than the researchers'.

All of the authors' writing has been influenced by government curricula and inspection committees, commercial conditions, the tradition of history-textbook writing and experiences from their own life-worlds, the latter of which I term "the voice of the author".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1997. , 263 p.
Didactica Umensis : rapporter från Institutionen för svenska och samhällsvetenskapliga ämnen, ISSN 1402-5752 ; 1
Keyword [en]
history, textbook authors, high school, textbooks, didactics, oral history, government, life-world, tradition
National Category
History Didactics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61516ISBN: 91-7191-297-5OAI: diva2:570315
Public defence
1997-05-30, Designhögskolans Aula, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2012-11-19 Created: 2012-11-19 Last updated: 2013-03-11Bibliographically approved

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Långström, Sture
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