A far away world about which we know nothing : teaching the European Union in Norwegian schools
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In this thesis, I explore how Norwegian Social Science textbooks present the EU, and how teachers teach about the EU in the Norwegian equivalent to the British Sixth Form (“videregående school”). I also study the pupils’ opinion about the teaching. The analysis is based on a textbook analysis of seven of the books in use right now in Norwegian videregående school, in addition to in-depth interviews with nine teachers and group interviews with 15 pupils. The most specific finding regarding the textbook analysis is that the books do not have enough text to cover the EU sufficiently. Actually, six of the seven books do not fulfil the learning objective regarding the EU satisfactory. In addition, the analysis shows that several of the textbooks present a sceptical view of the EU. The most consistent finding regarding the interviews is how little the pupils actually know and remember about the EU. It is likely to assume that the pupils know and remember so little, because there is so little teaching about the EU. Regardless of how the teachers teach, it seems that the amount of teaching is the problem. If the Government wishes the population to acquire greater knowledge about the EU, this research suggests the need for expanding the hours taught about the EU in school.