No. 8, December 2012


Hands-on articles

Book reviews


In this second 2012 issue of Yesterday&Today the insightful outcomes of several scientific research projects and a hands-on report are shared. The topics covered are:

  • the status of FET Further Education and Training History – past, present and future (Elize van Eeden);

  • an INSET in-service teacher training project for FET History teachers in one province of South Africa, and eventually beyond (Henriëtte Lubbe);

  • the transforming of academic practice into schooled knowledge (historiography) as a South African contribution to the primary source and historical thinking movement (Helen Ludlow);

  • practical guidelines of the what and how of a campaign to ensure that school History departments in South Africa remains relevant in the 21st Century (Simon Haw);

  • an oral history research project – the experiences of retired teachers of the Bantu Education system (Cheryl le Roux);

  • the history of atheletics at the Zonnebloem College during the 19th and early 20th Centuries (Francois Cleophas).

The articles published in this issue may in some way also be seen as a response to Elize van Eeden’s article entitled The youth and History – learning from some yesterday thoughts in South Africa (see pp. 23 of this issue), where she expresses her concern that the "The current lack of publications in which practical guidance from research and experience are offered to prospective educators of FET-History is alarming and should be addressed"; and also that, "Teacher training should be taken even more seriously in the 21st Century, …". As a contribution to this notion, the editorial board presents the following inputs:

In the above-mentioned article, Van Eeden further reports the results of a document study of various 20th Century qualitative and quantitative reports on different aspects of school History education such as the content, textbooks and teaching methodology. This original, pioneering and in-depth research reviews and records the trends in the youth’s experience of school History, as well as its status as a subject among the South African youth – past, present and future. She concluded her study with valuable suggestions and recommendations for all involved in the teaching of History.

In her contribution, entitled Ghana, Cocoa, Colonialism and globalisation: Introducing historiography, Helen Ludlow, a teacher educator, argues for the introduction of a necessary but difficult focus area in secondary school History teaching, namely historiography. It contains preliminary thoughts on how to transform academic practice into schooled knowledge. This will, according to Ludlow, promote the notion of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) to the benefit of all who are involved in the teaching of FET History. She demonstrates her argument by means of a sample narrative of Ghana’s cocoa industry from the late 19th Century onwards. It shows how the topic lends itself to a historiographical exploration which may be used to initiate learners into constructing their own narratives and in so doing, into engagement with historiographical issues.

Henriëtte Lubbe’s article, entitled Researching and developing the emotional intelligence of History teachers in the Lejweleputswa district, Free State (South Africa) reports the outcomes of an empirical study in the Lejweleputswa District in the Free State Province. She used a mixed-method research design for the study. The purpose of the study was to reflect on how the emotional intelligence of the teachers can be understood through investigating their experiences of and attitudes towards History teaching; and to reveal why the teachers regard the teaching of FET History as a particular challenging task. The conclusion of the study was that sufficient competency in emotional maturity can empower the teachers to manage their emotions effectively, cope with the demands of a stressful profession, handle conflict in the classroom, and teach History with greater creativity, effectiveness and confidence. As a way forward, the need for a more comprehensive programme was identified, that will not only benefit the teachers of the district, but also those teachers residing in other rural areas and the teachers of the other school subjects.

In her article entitled, Post-graduate education students’ oral history research: A review of retired teachers’ experiences and perspectives of the former Bantu Education system, Cheryl le Roux reports the outcomes of a qualitative study conducted by BEd (Hons) students as a part of a compulsory oral history interview assignment. The topic of the assignment was Bantu Education, and the students were required to sample the perceptions and experiences of teachers’ who where teaching during the Bantu Education era. The data was analysed using Tesch’s method of qualitative data analysis. The conclusion of her study was that although there was consensus among all the interviewees that Bantu Education was morally wrong and unjustifiable, the majority identified positive experiences regards structured, disciplined and quality education.

Francois Cleophas’ article, entitled Running a history programme outside the classroom. A case study of athletics at Zonnebloem College presents an invaluable contribution – not only to the school sport history literature, but also to the instructional studies debate. The focus of his document study and secondary analysis was on the history of sport (athletics) at one South African education institution, namely the Zonnebloem College, established in 1858 in Claremont, Cape Town. The history of the College is also illustrated by means of various interesting images. The purpose of his study was to present History teachers with innovative ideas for teaching and learning opportunities outside of the formal History curriculum. Practical classroom examples are also included.

Simon Haw, in a most interesting and inspiring hands-on article, titled Blowing your own trumpet – giving your school’s History department a high profile argues that it remains necessary for all FET History teachers to promote History as a subject in their schools. Haw devised a promotion campaign involving learners, parents and the school management. He proposed a specific campaign to reach the target groups is proposed. The latter includes internal as well as external promotion strategies. Aspects included in the campaign are: History evenings; the classroom environment; interesting activities to promote effective learning and enjoyment at the same time. He concludes his article with reference to the several steps that the SASHT can take to scaffold teachers to promote History in their schools.

Apart from the above contributions, included in this issue are also a number of book reviews, and a first-hand report on the activities and decisions of the 2012 SASHT Conference. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Dan Sleigh. Finally, the editorial board extends an open invitation to the H(h)istory fraternity to submit research reports for possible publication in any of the future issues of the journal.

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