Vilka är förutsättningarna i svensk grundskola för en interkulturell historieundervisning?


  • Per Eliasson Malmö högskola
  • Kenneth Nordgren Karlstads universitet




What are the conditions for intercultural history teaching in the Swedish compulsory school?

Abstract: This is the first major quantitative study of how teachers at the compulsory school look at the subject of History and its conditions. The article focuses on elements of the survey related to the content of teaching and how teachers perceive the conditions for the intercultural mission of the subject. The historical content in the form of selected time periods and geographic focus forms a clear canon: in grades 1–3 local history and Swedish history, in 4–6 Swedish and Nordic history, and in 7–9 Western European history with global, but mainly Eurocentric, outlooks. In terms of students’ skills to interpret history they encounter the result is to some extent contradictory. Empathy and critical thinking are highly valued but the actual work to develop these abilities is of lesser importance. Instead, storytelling is stressed as the major form of education. Teachers in grades 7–9 emphasize that long lines of development are important in their teaching. History’s orienting function leans more to the future and contemporary perspectives in grades 7–9, while students’ perspective on their own historical background ranked highest in 1–3 and 4–6. Future and contemporary issues are highlighted as a pattern in which racism and xenophobia become more important in higher grades while environmental issues decrease in importance. Multiculturalism and diversity issues occupy an intermediate position in this context but are perceived as important by teachers on all levels. An overall conclusion is that in the tension that exists between the traditions of the subject and an external pressure for change teachers need support to deal with the intercultural perspective.