Diversity in geography – an analysis of textbooks


  • Leoni Dörfel
  • Rieke Ammoneit
  • Carina Peter




diversity, textbooks, dimensions of diversity, qualitative content analysis, education, geography teaching


Diversity can be defined as multidimensional as it involves considering the diverse characteristics of individuals and societies. Geography as a subject has great potential to teach about diversity in a sensitive manner because diversity addresses complex interactions in spaces on different scales. In times of globalization and migration processes, school students are becoming increasingly diverse. The diverse reality of students’ lives must be reflected adequately in education. Thus, both educational standards and curricula demand an adequate representation of diversity, e.g., by reducing stereotypes that are related to different cultures. Thus, it is necessary to discuss the representation of diversity in textbooks within their role as the primary teaching medium in schools in Germany. We use a model with 13 diversity dimensions to assess such representation in geography textbooks. We examined all 11 licensed geography textbooks used in grades 5 to 13 in Hesse, Germany, using qualitative content analysis and analyzed the results quantitatively. Despite all the analyzed dimensions of diversity being found in the textbooks, the results show an inadequate, partly arbitrary, representation of diversity that contradicts the reality of students today. The representation of diversity depends on the topic and is less present in books for lower grades.




How to Cite

Dörfel, L., Ammoneit, R., & Peter, C. (2023). Diversity in geography – an analysis of textbooks. ERDKUNDE, 77(3), 195–212. https://doi.org/10.3112/erdkunde.2023.03.02




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