The previous chapters in this special issue have analysed different aspects of the politics of history curriculum development in East Asia. This final chapter draws together some of the themes that emerge from these analyses. The first of these is the salience, in history curricula throughout the region, of primordialist conceptions of ethno-cultural and historical identity. The second, related to this, is the predominance among political elites of conceptions of history that emphasise the 'correctness' of received interpretations, rather than the critical process of historical analysis. The political constraints on curriculum developers mean that despite the recent interest shown across East Asia in more 'skills-based' approaches to teaching history, the prospects for implementing a pedagogy that truly encourages a critical approach to the past are likely to remain poor.
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