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Textbooks and Citizenship in modern and contemporary Europe

Paolo Bianchini and Roberto Sani

The essays in this book are focused on the production and the use of textbooks in different countries and different periods of European history. By indicating some particularly important moments in the evolution of textbooks, they allow a better understanding of the educational history and of some other related topics: the history of school subjects mainly reconstructed through the contents offered to students at various levels of education; the educational and cultural policies that the states have continued through and what is still one of the most powerful means of training and orientation of public opinion: the school. The common source to all the essays collected here is the educational publishing. All authors have analyzed books, authors, publishers, users of manuals in limited contexts and moments in the history of education in different countries, in the attempt to study it through the real materials used daily in classes and not simply on teaching methods and pedagogical theories.
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Publishing for the School and Textbooks in the Fascist Twenty-Year Period. From the Gentile Reform to the End of The WWII (1923–1945)



The essay retraces the main phases of the history of textbooks from the Gentile Reform to the end of the Second World War. After a short introduction of historiographical nature, the essay examines in depth the school legislation on textbooks, which was elaborated during the fascist twenty-year period, with a special focus on the situation of the primary school. An analysis follows of the panorama of the publishing for the school in the post-war period and of its mechanism of production. The conclusion offers some reflections about the state of the art of the historical-educational research in Italy, with a closer look at the history of the school-publishing and the history of the school.

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