Det osamtidigas samtidighet : historiemedvetande i svenska historieläroböcker under hundra år

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The concept of historical consciousness has been central in didactic research since the early 1990’s. It has been focused in Swedish history curricula, especially since 1994. Historical consciousness has mostly been used on a macro-level as a theoretical framework. This study aims to analyze whether Swedish history textbooks for lower secondary school have articulated contexts that may develop historical consciousness. The empirical part of this study focuses on history textbooks from the 20th century. The analysis employs a number of theoretical concepts in order to identify different perspectives that can be utilized to trigger historical consciousness. The central concepts are narratives, uses of history, multi-chronology, identity, values and progression.
Narratives connect the present to the past and to the future in different ways. In history text books the perspective shifts from a chronological one in the early 20th century to a genealogical one at the end. During the 1960’s and 70’s the point of departure was the present time which was contrasted with the past. In the most recent books, however, there is a renewed tendency towards chronological narratives, sometimes including fictive passages. A significant example of how historical consciousness is articulated is when the authors use the device of “multi-chronology”, where the past, the present and the future appear simultaneously.
Values are central to historical texts and to teaching. In textbooks, values bridge the gap between dimensions of time and may in that way connect present time to the past. In the history textbooks, there are also historical contexts which explain and convey values.
In this thesis I also investigate the progression from primary school-books to upper secondary school-books. In recent textbooks for lower secondary school there are many examples of how historical consciousness is expressed. Textbooks for older pupils are not as articulate in this respect. Furthermore there is a progression over time. Contemporary books more frequently express historical consciousness than older books.


  • Niklas Ammert
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History


  • identity, multi-chronology, uses of history, 1900-2005, Sweden, values, progression, Historical consciousness, history textbooks, history didactics, narratives, dimensions of time, historieläroböcker, Historiemedvetande, historiedidaktik
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2008 Oct 3
  • Sisyfos förlag
Print ISBNs978-91-974902-9-6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2008-10-03 Time: 10:15 Place: Historiska institutionen sal 3 External reviewer(s) Name: Eliasson, Per Title: Fil Dr, universitetslektor Affiliation: Malmö högskola ---