GCSE History textbook: Conflict in the Middle East
Further update on the Pearson Edexcel GCSE History textbook: Conflict in the Middle East, c1945-1995 and International GCSE textbook: The Middle East: Conflict, Crisis and Change, 1917-2012
3 February 2022
Further to our statements on 20 August 2021 and 8 June 2021 below, we are pleased to share that we are partnering with specialist educational charity, Parallel Histories, to introduce a new way for young people to learn about Middle East history at GCSE level. The idea, which was conceived following input from leading historians, teachers and advocacy groups, will provide teachers and schools with a package of dynamic digital learning resources for the topic, consisting of primary source materials, videos and digital resources.
The new support will be in place for teaching from September 2022 and replaces previous textbooks on this topic.
This resource is currently on paused distribution. Further to our statement on 8 June 2021 below, we have commissioned a further independent review of this textbook working with Historians with a specialism in this period of history. We are also involving history teachers so that the review considers the practice and challenges of teaching contested history, where there are different and often opposing perspective and narratives.
We anticipate being able to share a further update in the autumn term. This textbook remains on paused distribution while this work is ongoing.
We are communicating directly with all schools currently offering this topic and will continue to keep schools updated on our progress.
As an awarding organisation, we make available a range of resources to support teachers delivering our qualifications. There is no expectation or requirement to use our textbook and teachers are encouraged to use a range of resources to support their teaching.
8 June 2021
This is a statement regarding two Pearson Edexcel textbooks on Middle East history: GCSE History textbook: Conflict in the Middle East, c1945-1995 and International GCSE textbook: The Middle East: Conflict, Crisis and Change, 1917-2012.
Our core editorial principle is to support the teaching of this important period in Middle East history impartially and objectively. We welcome feedback and we have robust processes in place to review any feedback – this is particularly important for such a sensitive period of history.
An independent review of these books last year found several areas where the balance of sources and viewpoints could be strengthened to reduce a slight Palestinian bias.
Any changes we made were based on the outcome of the independent review and in order to improve the overall balance of sources. Pearson retained full editorial control of these changes throughout.
Earlier this year, following feedback on the changes we made, we took the decision to pause further distribution while we review these texts again. We will gather a wider range of views and we will take action if there is more work to do to get that balance right.
We are the only awarding organisation to offer this topic as part of GCSE History and we are the only publisher to create a textbook for it. It is our priority that students are able to continue to study this topic in a fair and balanced way.