Teaching History, Celebrating Nationalism: School History Education in Poland

This book analyses the relationship between history education and nationalism in the context of the dominant structures of collective memory in Poland. Drawing on original qualitative research with history teachers, it explores the ways in which teachers understand the aims of history teaching and how they teach history, with some contesting or negotiating official and hegemonic nationalist memory projects, while others predominantly reproduce or radicalise them. A study of teachers’ tendencies to approach history through the prism of nationalism, this study reveals a view of history lessons as a means of instilling national identity in students, as the past is constructed in nationalist terms and no contradiction is identified in viewing history as both an objective science and a ‘nationalising’ tool. An examination of the means by which a dominant nationalist discourse is reinforced through historical education, Teaching History, Celebrating Nationalism will appeal to scholars of sociology and education with interests in nationalism and memory studies.