Designing a Tool for History Textbook Analysis


  • Katalin Eszter Morgan University of the Witwatersrand
  • Elizabeth Henning University of Johannesburg



cultural historical theory, history textbook analysis, analytical dimensions, grounded theory methodology, inductive coding, deductive coding


This article describes the process by which a five-dimensional tool for history textbook analysis was conceptualized and developed in three stages. The first stage consisted of a grounded theory approach to code the content of the sampled chapters of the books inductively. After that the findings from this coding process were combined with principles of text analysis as derived from the literature, specifically focusing on the notion of semiotic mediation as theorized by Lev VYGOTSKY. We explain how we then entered the third stage of the development of the tool, comprising five dimensions. Towards the end of the article we show how the tool could be adapted to serve other disciplines as well. The argument we forward in the article is for systematic and well theorized tools with which to investigate textbooks as semiotic mediators in education. By implication, textbook authors can also use these as guidelines.



Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Katalin Eszter Morgan, University of the Witwatersrand

Katalin MORGAN is currently a lecturer in the Curriculum Division of the School of Education in the Humanities Faculty at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her research interests include educational media design; history curricula, teaching and learning; qualitative research methodology, and Holocaust studies.

Elizabeth Henning, University of Johannesburg

Elizabeth HENNING is professor of Educational Linguistics in the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg. Her current research focus is teacher development and literacy education, specifically education in the early school years.




How to Cite

Morgan, K. E., & Henning, E. (2012). Designing a Tool for History Textbook Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(1).



Single Contributions