ELINA MARMER                                                                           IMAFREDU EXPOSÉ

IMage of AFRica in EDUcation
The impact of the portrayal of the African continent in textbooks on racism against students of African ancestry in German schools

State of the Art

The portrayal of the African continent in German textbooks and curricula has been critically
analyzed since the 1970s (Diestel, 1978; Guggeis, 1992; Sollinger, 1994; Poenicke 1994, and
references therein). The prevailing image of Africa and the Africans in textbooks, as well as in the media and in the literature, was found to be based on racial stereotypes which could be traced back to the colonial era, when the dehumanisation of African people served to justify colonial crimes and slave trade (Fremdgen, 1984; Bechhaus-Gerst, 2006; Borries, 1986; Arndt, 2006 and references therein). According to new studies these colonial perspectives are still persistent in German schools albeit in a more subtle form (Poenicke, 2001, 2003 and 2008; Pingel, 2001; Kerber, 2005; Jünger, 2007). History is being taught from a Eurocentric perspective – African history seems to begin with the “discovery” by the Europeans (Poenicke, 2008). more…