Textbook Analysis Methodology

IMPACT-se applies methodological standards which are based on  UNESCO and UN declarations, recommendations and documents on education for peace and tolerance (see below). Our methodology is designed to take into account every detail within the textbooks; it does not paraphrase, rely on interpretations, or attempt to illustrate preconceived notions.

This is an updated, condensed version of the IMPACT-se standards for peace and tolerance in school education:

  1. RESPECT: The curriculum should promote tolerance, understanding and respect toward the “Other,” his or her culture, achievements, values and way of life. [1]
  2. INDIVIDUAL OTHER: The curriculum should foster personal attachment toward the Other as an individual, his or her desire to be familiar, loved and appreciated. [2]
  3. NO HATE: The curriculum should be free of wording, imagery and ideologies likely to create prejudices, misconceptions, stereotypes, misunderstandings, mistrust, racial hatred, religious bigotry and national hatred, as well as any other form of hatred or contempt for other groups or peoples. [3]
  4. NO INCITEMENT: The curriculum should be free of language, content, and imagery that disseminate ideas or theories which justify or promote acts and expressions of violence, incitement to violence, hostility, harm and hatred toward other national, ethnic, racial or religious groups, [4]
  5. PEACEMAKING: The curriculum should develop capabilities for non-violent conflict resolution and promote peace. [5]
  6. UNBIASED INFORMATION: Educational materials (textbooks, workbooks, teachers’ guides, maps, illustrations, aids) should be up-to-date, accurate, complete, balanced and unprejudiced, and use equal standards to promote mutual knowledge and understanding between different peoples. [6]
  7. GENDER: The curriculum should foster equality and mutual respect between women and men. It should refrain from stereotyped gender roles. [7]
  8. SOUND PROSPERITY and COOPERATION: The curriculum should educate for sound and sustainable economic conduct and preservation of the environment for future generations. It should encourage regional and local cooperation to that effect. [8]

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[1] As defined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance Proclaimed and signed by Member States of UNESCO on  November 16, 1995, Articles 1, 4.2. See also the UN Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding Between Peoples (1965), Principles I, III. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): Education shall be directed to the full development of human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial and religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

[2] The goal of education for peace is the development in an individual of values which are universally recognized, regardless of different socio-cultural contexts. See ibid., Article 6. See also, on exchanges between youth, the UN Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples (1965), Principles IV, V.

[3] Based on ibid. Articles III.6, IV.7 and VII.39; and on the Integrated Framework for Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy, approved by the General Conference of UNESCO at its twenty-eighth session, Paris, November 1995, Article 18.

[4] As defined in Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2106 (XX) on December 21, 1965. See also Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) on December 16, 1966.

[5] Based on the Integrated Framework for Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy, approved by the General Conference of UNESCO at its twenty-eighth session, Paris, November 1995, Article 9; and on the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance Proclaimed and signed by Member States of UNESCO on November 16, 1995, Article 5.

[6] Based on UNESCO Recommendation concerning education for international understanding, cooperation and peace and education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms, adopted by the General Conference at its eighteenth session, Paris, November 19, 1974, Article V.14.

[7] The preamble to the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance Proclaimed and signed by Member States of UNESCO on November 16, 1995, notes the Convention on the Elimination of Any Form of Discrimination against Women and emphasizes respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to gender.

[8] Based on UNESCO Recommendation concerning education for international understanding, cooperation and peace and education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms, adopted by the General Conference at its eighteenth session, Paris, November 19, 1974, Articles III.6, and IV.7. On the imperative for developing “systematic and rational tolerance teaching methods that will address the cultural, social, economic, political and religious sources of intolerance,” see the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance Proclaimed and Signed by Member States of UNESCO on November 16, 1995, Article 4.2. On education for international cooperation, see also the UN Declaration on the Promotion among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding between Peoples (1965), Principle II.