What goes in the history textbooks? It’s a big debate in many countries, reports Education Week. Instilling national pride often conflicts with accuracy.
The breakup of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago ushered in a new generation of history textbooks for Russian schoolchildren that for the first time outlined in raw detail the brutality of Joseph Stalin’s reign.
But now, as the country continues to struggle with a depressed social and economic structure, some officials are calling for a glossier presentation of Russian history, one that would imbue national pride and positive feelings about its previous status as a superpower.
In Japan, history books ignore Japanese atrocities in World War II.
In India, a “Hindu-nationalist government in power from 1998 to 2004 revised the country’s curriculum,” including adopting books that didn’t mention that a Hindu fanatic killed Gandhi. The secularists, now back in charge, have reissued the old history texts.