Ethnicity: An oxymoron phenomenon in Iran’s explicit secondary education curriculum


1 PhD), Islamic Azad University (Islamshahr Branch)

2 (PhD), Shahid Beheshti University

3 (PhD), Islamic Azad University (Khorasgan Branch)

4 (PhD), Allameh Tabatabayi University


In this research, the status of ethnicity in Iran’s explicit secondary education curriculum in literature and humanity sciences has been analyzed. The pre-assumption of explicit curriculum’s components was Acker’s viewpoint and the qualitative content analysis was used as research method. For qualitative content analysis, Phillip Mearing’s systematic model has been used and the unit of content analysis consisted of the content, pictures and the activities of the textbooks. The research population consisted of eight secondary school and pre-University textbooks on social studies, history, sociology and social sciences containing more than 1470 pages. In this research, the purposeful sampling method has been used. Findings indicated a lack of interest for bringing up the issues of ethnic groups, implicit emphasis on the ethnicities’ conflicts and ethnicity and ethnic issues’ ignorance in the textbooks. Also, based on the research findings we could claim that in the textbooks, the notion of ethnicity has an oxymoron status. As a result of this chaos regarding the status of ethnicity, teachers and students face a lot of conflicting and challenging information.