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History is the core subject for Civic Education and traditionally a significant part of the school curriculum in Europe is considered to be the vehicle for subject and transferable skills, knowledge and understanding, but it can be misused as a tool for nation states to create patriotism and a strong national identity. EUROCLIO believes that uncritical narratives, invented and exaggerated ‘heroic’ stories of struggle and suffering, myths and stereotypes can be problematic and can threaten tolerance, democracy and the truth of multiperspectivity (external link).
Education policies and regulations are commonly decided by national governments. In history this results in a focus that is very nationally oriented. Research by EUROCLIO confirms that the national dimension in history education is overrepresented whereas the regional, European and international dimensions are underrepresented. The disadvantage of a dominantly national approach is a distortion in historical events. Many historical events only make sense when they are seen in a larger context. ‘The emergence of nation states’ ‘emancipation of women’, ‘arts’, ‘economic depressions’, ‘famines’ and ‘the Industrial Revolution’ are just some topics that need an international dimension TOWARDS RESEARCH.