Kollektive minner og universalisering. Holocaust i den nye norske læreplanen for grunnskolen
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonNordidactica. 2022, 12 (3), 149-170. https://journals.lub.lu.se/nordidactica/article/view/23952
In the new national curricula for Norwegian basic education (Kunnskapsløftet, LK20), introduced in 2020, Holocaust is included as a historical subject for the very first time. This is in itself an interesting development, made even more significant by the fact that every other historical subject is removed from the national curricula. However, no explanation for this contradiction is given, nor does the curricula give any insight into how teachers and students should interpret it. In this article, we argue that the contradictory and somewhat poorly defined role given to the Holocaust in LK20, together with other perspectives introduced in the new curricula, is likely to lead to two major shortcomings. Firstly, the curricula’s insistence on dealing with the past only on an individual level may create blind spots for the students when they try to make sense of the Holocaust as a historical subject. What LK20 fails to acknowledge, in our opinion, is the important role played by collective memory in dealing with the past. These are significant when confronted with historical subjects related to the Second World War, as these collective memories are particularly strong in cultures with a history related to this conflict. Secondly, we argue that the contradictory introduction of the Holocaust in LK20 is likely to strengthen the universalisation of the Holocaust in Norwegian schools, i.e. using the genocide of the European Jews as a generic symbol of prejudice, racism and evil. We argue that the preventive perspective of teaching the Holocaust in school may suffer from this approach, as it decontextualises the genocide from its historical context, thereby making it more difficult for the students to understand. However, we alsodiscuss how these shortcomings may be alleviated through a realisation of the importance of a collective memory culture when learning about the Holocaust, and how a historical contextualisation of the genocide may contribute to improved understanding of this historical subject.