Tools in Teaching Recent Past Conflicts: Constructing Textbooks Beyond National Borders

Whether teaching history can help promote peace and reconciliation is a variation of the old question whether education has the capacity to change society. Education has often been powerless, yet teaching with the explicit aim of overcoming past conflicts has been demonstrated to be both appropriate and effective. This chapter attempts to identify the conditions and contexts exerting a decisive influence on the potential impact of educational resources. Maier focuses on teaching materials designed to ameliorate national and ideological conflict surrounding past events. He considers materials designed bilaterally or multilaterally, by educationalists from, for instance, two or more formerly warring nations, to be of key significance in this context. Over the last decade an impressive variety of joint textbook projects in a range of countries has emerged, allowing Maier to compare and evaluate various approaches.