Abstract 7- Volume 1, Number 3, Summer 2006

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 1, Number 3, Winter 2006



Theocratic Education: Understanding the Islamic Republic of Iran by Analyzing Its Textbooks

Khodadad (Khodi) Kaviani
University of Washington-Seattle


On February 11, 1979, the monarchy rule in Iran was replaced by an Islamic theocracy, and the new government revised textbooks to promote a new identity based on Shia Islam and the Iranian nationalism. Because textbooks are used throughout the world to create national identities and are of interest to educators, an analysis of texts can provide insights into how a nation views itself, others, and its place in the world. Using discourse analysis, this study analyzes an eighth-grade history textbook used in the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2004 to understand the role of Khomeini vis-à-vis the Shah and how the regime’s adversaries are depicted. Concepts of grievance and framing are used to analyze the textbook.

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About the Author(s)…

Khodadad (Khodi) Kaviani is a Ph.D. candidate and an adjunct instructor at the University of Washington. He has 13 years of teaching and administrative experiences in public schools and his research interests include democratic education, Middle Eastern politics, and multicultural education. He has been a participant of the Microsoft Future Professors project exploring ways of incorporating technology into teaching social studies. His recent co-authored article, “Political Socialization, Technology, and Schools” is published by The International Journal of Social Education. He has also produced two cultural CDs highlighting the ancient traditions of Zoroastrians. Contact information: khodi@u.washington.edu, the University of Washington