Self-Identity and Others in Tunisian Textbooks

  • Arnon Groiss
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Educational Media book series (PSEM)


This chapter examines the attitude to the Self and the Other, and the interaction between them within the overall Tunisian national identity as reflected in Tunisian textbooks. The basis for this study has been provided by 64 textbooks of various subjects for grades 1–13, nearly all published in 2007, that is, more than 3 years before the popular uprising and change in Tunisia’s regime in late 2010. The books were examined within a larger research operation done mostly by the author during the years 2000–2010, analysing the attitude to the Other and to peace in nearly 1500 textbooks of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran, besides Tunisia itself, which provided a broad basis for comparison between the various curricula in this respect. The main thesis of this chapter is that the pre-revolutionary Tunisian textbooks (as well as their post-revolutionary counterparts up to the 2013/2014 school year) have adopted a special attitude to the Other not encountered in other Middle Eastern textbooks, including those of Israel. In order to substantiate this thesis, limited references to non-Tunisian textbooks will be made here by way of comparison only, as the present chapter does not claim to discuss other curricula specifically.

Textbooks Cited

  1. Reader. Grade 2. 2007.Google Scholar
  2. Writing [Exercises]. Grade 5. 2007.Google Scholar
  3. Social Sciences: History, Geography, Civics Grade 5. 2007.Google Scholar
  4. , ——— Grade 6. 2007.Google Scholar
  5. [Literary] Texts. Grade 7, undated.Google Scholar
  6. Social Sciences: History, Geography, Civics Grade 7. 2007.Google Scholar
  7. [Literary] Texts. Grade 9. 2007.Google Scholar
  8. Islamic Education. Grade 9. 2007.Google Scholar
  9. Social Sciences: History, Geography, Civics Grade 9, undated.Google Scholar
  10. Literary Horizons. Grade 10, undated.Google Scholar
  11. Literature. Grade 11, Part 2. 2007.Google Scholar
  12. History. Grade 11 [Humanities], undated.Google Scholar
  13. History Grade 11. [Sciences]. 2007.Google Scholar
  14. [Literary] Texts. Grade 12 [Humanities]. 2006.Google Scholar
  15. History. Grade 12 [Sciences]. 2007.Google Scholar
  16. [Literary] Texts. Grade 13 [Sciences], undated.Google Scholar
  17. Islamic Thinking. Grade 13 [Humanities]. 2007.Google Scholar
  18. History. Grade 13 [Humanities]. 2007.Google Scholar
  19. Philosophy. Grade 13 [Humanities], Part 1, undated.Google Scholar
  20. National Education: Egypt and its Role in Civilization. Grade 9. 2002.Google Scholar


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  4. Ministry of Education. n.d. School Statistics for the 2012/2013 School Year. Tunisia. Accessed 9 September 2016. [Arabic].
  5. bin Rajab, M. 2013. The Tunisian Revolution has Blasted School: 100 Thousand Students have Left School Benches Early. Elaph, September 8. Accessed 9 September 2016. [Arabic].
  6. Al-Sueidani, A. 2012. The Curricula Revolution in the Spring States. Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, February 17. Accessed 9 September 2016. [Arabic].

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnon Groiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Voice of Israel’s Arabic RadioJerusalemIsrael

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