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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Beyond cause and effects in the teaching of history: examining human relevance and importance in the classroom through personal stories
Author:Wilson, James R.
Year:2007
Periodical:New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Issue:54
Pages:101-115
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:history education
pedagogy
Abstract:For many people, history classes are synonymous with the encyclopedic memorization of historical knowledge, fixed and embedded in time and place. When teaching history in South Africa it is easy to fall into the trap of disassociating history from the lived situations and contexts that have helped shape a democratic South Africa, of allowing it to become a storehouse of generic knowledge, devoid of the 'personal'. The author challenges teachers to empower their students and themselves to become agents of history rather than passive recipients of events. This is congruent with South Africa's Outcomes Based Education Curriculum 2005, which mandates that teachers should be made to 'help learners to develop their knowledge as well as their skills, values and attitudes'. The use of 'narratives' (stories) and 'personal voices' in the teaching of history is one technique amongst many that can serve to enhance teaching as a whole. There is also an urgent need for collaboration between educators, students and the community. Every effort should be made to create a pedagogical environment that strives to make the classroom 'safe' for the exploration of controversial questions in the midst of biases, deep-seated feelings and vulnerabilities. The argumentation is illustrated with examples from South Africa and the author's own teaching experience in Lesotho. Ref., sum. in French. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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