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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'History Has to Play its Role': Constructions of Race and Reconciliation in Secondary School Historiography in Zimbabwe, 1980-2002
Author:Barnes, TeresaISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:history education
secondary education
race relations
History and Exploration
Education and Oral Traditions
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070701475740
Abstract:This article examines changes in Zimbabwean secondary school history syllabi and textbooks, specifically their treatment of the issue of race; and relates these developments to larger social forces at work after 1980. A nationalist, Africa-centred and Marxist-inspired history syllabus was introduced in 1991; it was revised in 2000 and replaced in 2002 by one that was narrower, less comparative and with less emphasis on the development of critical reading and interpretive skills. In each instance, history was made to 'play its role'. Drawing on evidence from the syllabi, authors, teachers and schools, this article argues that although the first nationalist syllabi and textbooks were distinct improvements over their Rhodesian-era predecessors, they presented polarizing messages along racial lines to a burgeoning school population. In conjunction with the passive 'live and let live' style of racial reconciliation in wider society, these educational circumstances contributed to a social avoidance of large-scale racial targeting, while racial identity and citizenship simultaneously came to be seen through the lens of political expediency. Although State-sponsored violence and propaganda certainly spread in the period under review, the article also suggests a possible counter trend: that the promulgation of 'patriotic history' in Zimbabwe might find itself tempered to some extent by the country's educational structures, traditions and conditions. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]