No. 27, July 2022


Teachers Voice

Book reviews


History Education greetings,

Welcome to the July 2022 edition, volume 27, of Yesterday & Today. For the uninitiated, the journal is affiliated to the South African Society for History Teaching (SASHT ). The 36th SASHT conference, hosted by the University of Stellenbosch, will take place from 29-30 September 2022 at the historic Genadendal Museum. The theme of the conference is: History teaching in and beyond the formal curriculum.

I would like to now turn to the book review section of Yesterday & Today and express our deepest condolences to our dedicated review editor, Bafana Mpanza, and the tragic loss his family suffered. Bafana, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. As a consequence, the book review section is less comprehensive than usual. In light of the dedicated work of Bafana and the many colleagues who give up their time to act as reviewers, it is probably an opportune time to share some of the thoughts of Professor Keyan G Tomaselli, a distinguished professor from the University of Johannesburg, on the reviewing of books. In the University World News - Africa Edition of 21 April 2022, he argued strongly in favour of book reviews as such undertakings can, amongst others, be reworked into a review article, serve as the basis of writing a literature review, be it for a thesis or a publication, serve as a critical thinking exercise for authors and readers alike, assist in publicising a book and its author(s), and expose authors and readers to different perspectives. Provocatively, Tomaselli, with reference to South Africa, argued that to "South African universities, reading and reviewing translates to 'wasting' time, as current professional practice is aimed at the garnering of measurable productivity publishing units of full research papers, books and chapters only; which are indexed in specific 'accredited' lists': In view of the above, I would welcome thoughts and inputs on this debate which would be carried in the December 2022 edition of Yesterday & Today.

Drawing on the thinking of Pro£ Tomaselli, I think it is also necessary for the History Education community to think carefully about, and engage critically with, the emerging open-access models of publishing which many universities are investing heavily in. As a History Education community; we need to reflect if these models are "actually page-fee free" and open access, and in what ways the emerging models of open-access can lead to the intellectual control of the academic work and the massification thereof. Most importantly; we need to ask what such moves might mean for small independent journals with a specialised focus such as Yesterday & Today.

As authors, editors, reviewers, and readers we are hopefully experiencing the death knell of COVID-19. In this regard, I want to thank all that are involved with Yesterday & Today, in whatever capacity, for their unselfish effort to keep our journal going. Volume 27 is testimony to this. This volume contains six academic articles.

• In their contribution, Andy Carolin and Taryn Bennett use Trevor Noah's Born a Crime to argue how a historical memoir could be used to improve curriculum coherence in teacher education.

• The second article is by Maureen Robinson and Linda Chisholm. In this, they revisit the ambivalent legacy of teacher education colleges. In so doing they argue that the world of teacher education has shifted to such an extent that returning to teacher education colleges, as some nostalgically hope for, is not possible.

• In their article, Paul Maluleka and Thokozani Mathebula foreground the Odera Oruka philosophy, by bringing it into conversation with the Africanisation of the South African CAPS-History curriculum. A timely contribution when considering that the promised new South African curriculum continues to be under construction.

• Denise Bentrovato and Nerva Dzikanyanga, in their article, also engage with the History curriculum, in their case with that of Malawi. More specifically they, in a diachronic manner, interrogate the changes in school History in Malawi using power and knowledge as lenses.

• In her article, Dorothy Sebbowa turns the gaze back to COVID-19. More specifically she engages with the pandemic and its impact on History Education at Makerere University.

• The final contribution is by Charles Oppong, Adjei Adjepong, and Gideon Boadu. In their piece, they provide a Ghanaian perspective on practical History lessons as a tool for generating procedural knowledge in History teaching.

Finally, in the "Teachers Voice" section of this edition of Yesterday & Today, it was decided to give voice to teachers outside of formal History Education. The reason for this was to serve as a timely reminder that History Education happens in different ways in different spaces and that voice must be given to these undertakings. The first voice was given to the Pretoria Archaeology Club for Schools, an endeavour aimed at bridging the gap between Archaeology and School History. The second voice went to the Asinakuthula Collective and their educational work in re-membering women's histories.

Take care and stay safe!

Johan Wassermann (Editor-in-Chief)

Recent Submissions