In 2015 Nordidactica has published two special issues, one on religious education and one on history education, plus two open issues. Articles on geography education and social science education were sparse in 2015 but in 2016 Nordidactica will publish a special issue on geography education. We have every reason to expect that also themes of social science education will be covered more often in the future.
The issue 2015:4 includes five articles and a book review. In fact the issue holds two ’mini special issues’: one on history teaching at university, and one on (post)colonial perspectives on history teaching. Marjaana Puurtinen, Markus Nivala and Arja Virta discuss the historical thinking of history students at the university, and they find that students do not have as good a command of advanced historical thinking as we might expect. They suggest that more attention should be given to students’ scaffolding and to the study of how history is learnt at a university level. Also Anna-Lena Lilliestam discusses history in higher education: she analyses how beginner teachers understand history and history teaching and she recommends that history teacher students should be offered more opportunities to develop their historical reasoning abilities, including ability to perspective-taking.
Pia Mikander - Colonialist “discoveries” in Finnish school textbooks
Pia Mikander focuses in her article on the discourses of ’West ’ and ’others’ in history books in Finnish comprehensive school. She finds much to criticise in the images of Western explorers and their voyages of discovery, and she ponders alternative points of departure for handling those topics in history teaching. Jan Löfström analyses the notions of culture and cultural difference in the upper secondary school course on the history of non-Western societies, and he shows how systemic factors easily slow and obstruct the use of perspectives that could be fruitful to the development of students’ intercultural competences. Lise Kvande discusses in her article narratives about the Sami people and how they have changed in history textbooks in Norway. She points out that this topic is relevant not only to multiculturality debate in general but also to our better understanding the connections between history and ethnopolitics. The last contribution is Niclas Lindström’s review essay on a recent book on ethics education.