Personal profile

Research interests

Tina van der Vlies is an associate professor at the History Department of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL). Her current research 'Why school history matters: public discourses on the purposes of history education, 1920-2020' is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO Rubicon). For this project she is affiliated with the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge (UK). Back in 2021 she became a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Dutch National Museum of Education.


Her academic and societal work revolve around history, heritage, education and (de)colonization, foregrounding historical contexts of knowledge production and distribution. Since research has shown that curricula continue to affect people’s worldviews and images of the ‘other’ later in life, she generates insights into these widely distributed ideas as well as into patterns and mechanisms of their (re)production. Her work received several awards, such as the Georg Eckert Research Award (2022) and the Erasmus University Research Prize (2021).


In December 2022 her book Echoing Events: The Perpetuation of National Narratives in English and Dutch History Textbooks, 1920-2010 was published. This book delves into the less visible ways of national narratives’ perpetuation by pointing out how narrated histories in textbooks overlapped and interfused. It shows how textbook authors have narrated different histories as ‘echoing events’ by interpreting them in the same way and by using the same combinations of historical analogies, giving meaning to history with these recurring connections. Her research revealed widespread schemata and frames of references in the narration of national history, shed new light on debates about canonization, and complemented James Wertsch' theory on narrative templates.


For a longer research stay, she went to the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig, the Institute of Education in London, the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories in Brighton, and the University of Cambridge.


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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

NWO Rubicon Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

1 Feb 2022 → …

Member Centre for Global Heritage and Development, cluster 'Heritage and Identity', Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities

Member Scientific Advisory Board, National Museum of Education


  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • D204 Modern History
  • LA History of education
  • LT Textbooks

ERMeCHS research clusters

  • GFCP - Global futures, Colonial Pasts
  • HI - Heritage & Identity


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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