Textbook Study Migration and Integration

The research project was commissioned by the Federal Commissioner for Migration and Refugees and carried out in cooperation with Georg Eckert Institute – Leibniz Institute for International Textbook Reasearch. It examines how integration is currently handled as a subject in educational media. Integration has almost never been the explicit topic of studies on textbooks.

The study concentrates on the following three issues:

1)  How are the subjects integration and migration represented in textbooks? (regarding present and past migratory flows, the constitution of national government, successful integration versus conflicts, displacement and naturalisation, the colonial state between inclusion and exclusion, etc.)

2)  What strategy do textbooks pursue to promote a reflected position towards diversity and a consolidated intercultural competence? (regarding the problematisation of xenophobia, prejudices, discrimination and racism, an education towards open-mindedness, approachability and inclusive thinking, etc.)

3)  Is cultural diversity represented? Are different ways of life depicted? (regarding the representation of different cultural and ethnic groups living in German society, the depiction of the conflict between mainstreaming and inclusion in society, representations of heterogeneity between stereotypes and diversity, etc.)

The study can be classified as discourse analytical textbook research. It analyses the language of textbooks and uncovers a dominating social knowledge that is socio-politically legitimated by its inclusion in textbooks. This knowledge pretends to be scientifically founded.

Textbooks for lower and upper secondary level (9th-12th grade) and for the subjects social studies, politics, history, and geography are examined. The examined books were selected from three different federal states. The analysis considers textbooks for grammar schools, comprehensive schools, and secondary modern schools. 

Press reports on the study