Histoire contemporaine du Luxembourg

Presenter: Teaching History in Luxembourgish Secondary Schools in the 1950s-1970s: Ideas and Experiments

‘We don’t like over-emphasised patriotism; our national experience is simply more reserved than that of our larger neighbours. Since we do not feel as the significant part in big developments, such as is the case of for example France and Germany, we are forced from the outset to a certain modesty’, Fanny Beck-Mathekowitsch wrote in the pedagogical student thesis she submitted in order to receive a Luxembourg teacher’s accreditation in 1952. Like other aspirant teachers to the Luxembourg school system, Beck-Mathekowitsch had received her university training abroad, after which she had enrolled for a two-years internship in a Luxembourg school. The 21 pedagogical theses written throughout the 1950s and 1970s that are preserved in the Luxembourg National Archives shed new light on how history teaching in Luxembourg was researched and discussed by students. Given the absence of a research infrastructure in Luxembourg, these theses offer a unique insight in how history was taught, as well as how newcomers to the profession thought and experimented with how it should be taught. Through an investigation of hitherto unexplored historical sources, this chapter brings the reader as close as possible to the Luxembourg history classroom in the years after the Second World War.

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