Divided Presentations in History Textbooks in Three Ex Yugoslav States Discussing Implications for Identity Development

Abstract

Main aim of this study is to determine the differences in the presentation of significant historical events during Yugoslavia war in history textbooks used in high schools in three ex Yugoslav states: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. Historical events that were analyzed are disintegration of Yugoslavia and the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Three different history textbooks published by state publishers for fourth grade of secondary schools that are currently used (in the Federation Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Srpska and in Bosnian areas that teach history according to Croatian curriculum) were analyzed along with two textbooks from Montenegro and Serbia. Content analysis was applied, and comparison of presentation of same events in the textbooks was conducted qualitatively and quantitatively. Special attention was paid to the way in which the textbook authors described the role of neighboring countries (Kosovo, Slovenia, Macedonia, as well as Serbia, Montenegro and two entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina). Textbooks were analyzed in terms of the core content, language and illustrations. In case of Bosnia-Herzegovina was also analyzed the degree to which textbooks follow the guidelines for writing and evaluating history textbooks in elementary and secondary schools prescribed by the Commission for the Development of Guidelines for history teaching in Bosnia-Herzegovina from April 2005. The results show that analyzed textbooks differ in core content, language, and illustrations, especially when describing the collapse of Yugoslavia and the war in Bosnia (1992-1995). Textbooks share similar presentation of period before and after the war. Also Bosnian textbooks do not folow mentioned Guidelines.



Author Information
Alma Jeftic, International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jelena Joksimovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Paper Information
Conference: ECP2014
Stream: Psychology and Education

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