How important is history for migrant children’s identity? Preliminary quantitative research with over 400 students from Vienna, aged ten to fifteen, aims to find out.
Public debates over the teaching of history in Mexico have focused on the inclusion of specific content and the interpretation of historical events that have marked the nation’s history. Nevertheless, contemporary didactic proposals have evaded the subject and have been concerned with the proximity between professional historical thought and its teaching, without modifying traditional historical narratives taught in schools. However, the pedagogical dispute about the inclusion of historical science in the classroom has pushed the country’s multicultural characteristics into the background. What does the teaching of contemporary history in Mexico include and exclude? How can the problem be thought of from an intercultural dimension?
The Politics of Interculturality
Driven by global policies in favor of the recognition of indigenous peoples and by the confrontation with the political and armed movement of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN; Zapatista National Liberation Army), the Mexican government modified the Constitution and established, in 2002, that the Mexican nation “has a pluricultural composition upheld by its indigenous peoples who are those who descended from populations that inhabited the country’s current territory at the start of colonization and preserved their own institutions.” This modification implied, at least legally, the abandonment of mestizo identity that spread with special force from the 1940s onwards, when schools served—and continue to serve in practice—as a central tool for its perpetuation. Since that time, the reforms in school curricula for teaching history, among other subjects, were forced to include the new focus on the nation’s identity.