Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Jack Dougherty

Second Advisor

Rachel Leventhal-Weiner


Political leaders have often used state education systems as a tool for nation building, using school curricula to shape citizens’ national identity to be consistent with their long-term political goals. In this paper, I analyze the narratives of past kings in government-issued history textbooks in Burma examine the political and social values the Burmese State attempts to transmit to students in the process of building a national identity. Using a qualitative content analysis and coding methods, I examine 6th – 8th grade history textbooks. My findings indicate that the Burmese State uses narratives of ancient Burmese kings to promote: (1) the rule of skilled military leaders who are able to defend and unite the nation and improve national development, (2) the unity of different national races as one homogenous group for national peace and prosperity, (3) cautious interactions with “others”, such as foreigners or dissenting ethnic minorities, and (4) Buddhism as the State religion.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies.

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