Chapman A & Smith J (2023) Narration and Equivocation: Locating State, Nation and Empire in the Pre-university History Examination Syllabi of England and Scotland. In: History Education at the Edge of the Nation: Political Autonomy, Educational Reforms, and Memory-shaping in European Periphery. Global Histories of Education. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 245-272. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-27246-2_11
The United Kingdom is composed of four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) each with their own national histories and educational systems. In each of these countries, the history education curriculum must negotiate two national identities: that of the UK and that of its component nation. In this chapter we explore the question of what ‘nation’ means in the pre-university syllabuses of two of these countries—England and Scotland.
The chapter deploys quantitative content analysis and qualitative narrative analysis to explore when and how the concept of the nation is called up in these two countries. Our analysis suggests that the nation is conceived differently in English and Scottish curricula. In England we identify what we term a ‘continuity state narrative’ wherein ‘England’ is superseded as an entity by ‘Britain’, while in Scotland we identify a ‘split screen narrative’ wherein the Scottish nation both precedes the UK and persists after its formation.
Underlying these narratives, we propose, are equivocations about the definitions and nature of nation states. Curriculum design demands that syllabuses delimit and delineate historical events which in fact interlink and overlap. When these questions intersect with those relating to the nation, both English and Scottish curriculum planners prefer to avoid the question entirely.
|Title of series||Global Histories of Education|
|Publication date online||28/06/2023|
|Publisher||Springer International Publishing|
|Place of publication||Cham, Switzerland|
|ISSN of series||2731-6416|