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Constellation Analysis

A Methodology for Comparing Syllabus Topics Across Educational Contexts


Jason Nicholls

Edited By Bryan Cunningham

Jason Nicholls’ Constellation Analysis is an important contribution to studies in Comparative Education. From a deeply philosophical perspective (drawing in particular on the work of Hegel, Gadamer and Foucault), the author explores the ways in which topics in history education may be analysed and compared across international contexts. Utilising the Second World War as an «exemplar topic», the depiction of this crucial historical event in three countries, Japan, Sweden and England, is subjected to a highly novel form of interrogation. The book provides the reader not only with important insights into the nature of the books in use in classrooms across these contexts, but also into the educational – and indeed broad socio-political – environments beyond the classrooms.
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Chapter One: Traveller’s Tales, Textbook Research and Theory Development

Chapter Two: Possibilities and Choices: Reflections on the Literature

Chapter Three: The Philosophical Basis of Comparisons I – From the Modernist ‘Thesis’ to the Postmodern ‘Antithesis’

Chapter Four: The Philosophical Basis of Comparisons II – Towards a Hermeneutic ‘Synthesis’

Chapter Five: Hermeneutic Readings of Past Masters I – Re-interpreting Bereday’s Emphasis on the Importance of Language and Contextual Immersion Using Gadamer

Chapter Six: Hermeneutic Readings of Past Masters II – Isolating and Approaching Educational Contexts through a Re- interpretation of the Brian Holmes / Edmund King Dialectic

Chapter Seven: Charting a Syllabus Topic in History Education across Cultures – The Descriptive Exercise of Constellation Mapping

Chapter Eight: Comparative Constellation Analysis as Method

Chapter Nine: Conclusion – Labour, Consciousness and Agency

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