What about Global History? Dilemmas in the Selection of Content in the School Subject History

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Abstract: It is a cliché, but also a fundamental fact that we live in a world where globalization and international challenges, opportunities and relationships play an increasing role. However, how have these changing conditions affected the content of school history? To what degree have curricula and textbooks addressed these challenges? Is the main focus in school history still on the history of the nation state, or has it successfully integrated topics and themes from world history? These are questions I discuss in this paper. In the main, my starting point is the situation in Denmark, but with perspectives and comparisons from Norway, England and Germany. Among other things, I will put school history in a historical context, because the subject’s history and genesis—in my opinion—tends to maintain a traditional content and form of organization, thereby reducing the subject’s usefulness. At the end of the paper, I outline and discuss a few alternative options for selecting and organizing the content with the aim of being more inclusive with regard to global and international aspects. The paper must be understood as a step towards the clarification of a development project that aims to propose and experiment with practices for the selection and organization of the content of the history curriculum, with the aim of increasing the international and global dimensions in history teaching.
Translated title of the contributionHvad med global historie? Udfordringer i udvalg af indhold i skolefaget historie
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number2013.3
Pages (from-to)403-420
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2013


  • public school

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