The organisation of bilateral textbook discussions has been one of the Institute’s core activities since its foundation. It has been possible to establish particularly productive dialogues with France (started 1949), Poland (started 1972) and Israel (started 1981), which have focussed on commonalities and differences in memory culture and historico-political aspects as well as mutual representation in textbooks. Not only has research at the GEI benefitted from the experience gained over the years and the networks that have been built up but so has the international community, as this unique expertise has repeatedly been in demand in the context of textbook revision processes.
Bilateral work on textbooks has been formalised within the textbook commissions, in which experts, educationalists and representatives from pedagogic practice work closely together. In addition to analysing textbooks, writing appropriate recommendations and advising policy-makers and practitioners, this work also involves academic events at which current social questions are debated or new theoretical concepts are examined for their compatibility with the work of the commissions. Another important undertaking in the past few years has been the creation of bilateral teaching materials.
The GEI currently coordinates three bilateral textbook commissions:
- German-Israeli Textbook Commission
- German -Polish Textbook Commission
- German -Czech Textbook Commission