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The Voice of History and the Message of the National Curriculum: Recontextualising History to a Pedagogic Discourse for Upper Secondary VET

  • Ledman, Kristina
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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In the reform by the liberal-conservative government of Swedish upper secondary education in 2011, history was recognized as an important part of citizenship education and was introduced into the curriculum for vocational education and training (VET) tracks. Through the concepts of classification and framing, this article explores the process of constructing the history syllabus for VET. The data consist of archived material from the working group responsible for the history curriculum under the Swedish National Agency for Education. The analysis shows that there are competing discourses concerning the relative emphasis on competencies and skills and concerning the emphasis on contemporary and modern history. Although historians, history teachers and other agents are invited to respond to the content of the curriculum, the respondents have no influence on the knowledge structure of the curriculum, which is controlled by agents of the dominant educational ideology. From a critical perspective, this article suggests that the curriculum reflects the instrumental and neoconservative message of the reform through strong classification and framing and through the emphasis on general abilities and a contemporary history that has a more direct explanatory value to contemporary society.

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