" European identity and European cultural heritage through the "key themes of geography": An analysis of three countries' curricula and textbooks

Authors: Apostolia Galani*, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athina Karatza, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Topics: Geography Education, Cultural Geography
Keywords: European identity, European cultural heritage, key themes of geography, geo-literacy
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


In the era of a financial and migration crisis that many European countries are confronting, along with a general disaffection towards the EU, questions regarding the construction of a European identity arise. Europeans' poor, sometimes negative feeling about European identity, coupled with the lack of knowledge about European cultural heritage, aggravate the European crisis. Education shapes identities - including a European one - while it prepares students for future decision-making concerning multi-dimensional and multi-levelled issues. Geography as a school subject plays a crucial role in the process of identity construction. Examining the role of geography curricula and textbooks in European identity formation and acquaintance with European cultural heritage is particularly important. This study aimed to record and analyse the approach of the European identity and cultural heritage through the key themes of geography in Greek, British and Spanish geography curricula and textbooks. Researchers conducted content analysis in the aims of the Geography curricula, as well as content and discourse analysis in the texts, images and maps of the corresponding textbooks. The findings showed a lack of an overall development of European identity formation and acquaintance with its cultural heritage in the curricula examined. The concepts studied did not adequately use the "themes of geography", that offer a multi-dimensional spatial approach. Regarding the corresponding textbooks researchers found that writers followed the curricula for creating the textbooks, but also included additional elements concerning European identity and heritage that were absent in the curricula studied.

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