Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Yesterday and Today]]> vol. num. 14 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Special Edition on History textbooks in Africa</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Political economy of History textbook publishing during apartheid (1948-1994): Towards further historical enquiry into commercial imperatives</b>]]> The provision of textbooks in apartheid South Africa (1948-1994), a source of controversy and media interest in recent years, is placed in historical perspective, with particular reference to History textbook production. Michael W Apple (1993) proposes an analytical framework of political economy to enable better understanding of the tensions behind textbook production and distribution. During apartheid bureaucratic structures and commercial imperatives gave rise to a conformist ethos that stifled innovation. The textbook approval and adoption processes led publishers into adopting strategies to ensure approval for and approval of their textbooks. To avoid friction with education departments, editors urged self-restraint on their writers and instructed them in how to write officially approvable manuscripts. While some authors were disappointed, most wrote to satisfy their publishers, often resorting to copying the content and style of previously-approved textbooks. Focusing on History textbooks as a field of publishing history, this study synthesises existing primary and secondary sources, further supplemented by interviews with former History textbook writers and editors. <![CDATA[<b>The dilemmas of textbook selection - the Department of Education's 2007 screening of Grade 12 History textbooks - A case study</b>]]> Textbook selection presents a conundrum for history as a school subject. On one hand it is desirable that the best textbooks are available to be used in classrooms, on the other selection appears to imply control over what can be studied, or even bias and state interference. This is a case study of the textbook screening of Grade 12 history textbooks conducted by the Department of Education in January 2007, in which the author was a participant. It is based upon the criteria and evaluation report forms for the 10 books that were submitted for approval. The article is in three parts: a description of the selection criteria employed by the department and a discussion of the issues that they raise in terms of selected literature on textbook assessment in history; an analysis of the way in which the selection criteria were used in the textbook screening process followed by a discussion of what it concerns; and, in conclusion, a consideration of the place and importance of textbook selection to history education. <![CDATA[<b>Reflections on applying critical discourse analysis methodologies in analysing South African history textbooks</b>]]> This article is a reflection on the choice to apply Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) in a large scale study in which South African history textbooks were analysed for their construction of African consciousness. The article begins with an evaluation of history textbooks analysis as a field of study. It then explains my rationale for adopting CDA in afield where most studies are qualitative content analyses. This is followed by the explanation of my practical adaptation and application of Norman Fairclough's version of CDA mixed with functional linguistics and visual semiotics. Only a few examples of the findings in the larger scale study are given to elaborate on this application. The article ends with a reflective evaluation of my application of CDA. I conclude that, though fraught with challenges, the application of CDA offers a worthwhile alternative methodology in the analysis of history textbooks. <![CDATA[<b>Using genre to describe the progression of historical thinking in school history textbooks</b>]]> The focus of this paper is to describe how progression in historical thinking manifests across seven South African textbooks, one each from Grade 3 to Grade 9. This paper argues that one way in which progression in historical thinking is signalled in textbooks is by the genre type of the texts with which learners are required to engage. Our starting premise is that the development of historical thinking requires both substantive and procedural knowledge, or both first order and second order historical concepts. This paper presents only the genre analysis of a broader study which is informed by a combination of concepts from the fields of history education, sociology of knowledge and the genre approach of Systematic Functional Linguistics. The findings indicate that in terms of the texts that learners must read, there is a clear movement from the recording genre to the explaining genre and then to the interpretation genre across the seven books. The complexity of the substantive knowledge also increases as it moves from local contextualised knowledge to knowledge that is removed from the learner's context in both geography and time (decontextualized knowledge). In terms of writing demands, it is only in Grade 6 that learners commence writing explanations and thus engaging with the concept of cause and effect. It is only in Grade 9 that learners are expected to engage with writing multi-perspectives or to interpret and argue for a particular perspective as they are introduced to a range of different sources. This paper argues that using genre as a methodological tool can illuminate some aspects of progression of both first order and second order concepts in history. <![CDATA[<b>The role of history textbooks in promoting historical thinking in South African classrooms</b>]]> This article focuses on the analysis of three textbooks that are based on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), a revised curriculum from the National Curriculum Statement which was implemented in 2008. The article uses one element of a historical thinking framework, the analysis of primary sources, to evaluate the textbooks. In the analysis of primary sources the three heuristics distilled by Wineburg (2001) such as sourcing, corroborating and contextualizing are used to evaluate the utilisation of the primary sources in the three textbooks. According to the findings of this article, the writing of the three textbooks is still framed in an outdated mode of textbooks' writing in a dominant narrative style, influenced by Ranke's scientific paradigm or realism. The three textbooks have many primary sources that are poorly contextualized and which inhibit the implementation of sourcing, corroborating and contextualizing heuristics. Although, some primary sources are contextualized, source-based questions are not reflecting most of the elements of sourcing, corroborating and contextualizing heuristics. Instead, they are mostly focused on the information on the source which is influenced by the authors' conventional epistemological beliefs about school history as a compendium of facts. This poor contextualization of sources impacted negatively on the analysis of primary sources by learners as part and parcel of "doing history" in the classroom. <![CDATA[<b>Recognising the academic and political purposes embedded in history textbook assessment tasks</b>]]> This paper explores the nature of history as a school-based discipline and how history is recontextualised in the South African History Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) and Grade 10 history textbooks, with a particular focus on what the assessment activities and questions require of learners. The conceptual tools used in this document analysis were inspired by Morgan and Henning (2013) and came from Wertsch (2002), Anderson (2005) and Krathwohl (2002). The findings indicate that within the 'doing school history' construct, there is both an academic and a political dimension. These two projects may appear to be at odds with one another, but we argue that the study of history is strengthened when both are given their due respect. <![CDATA[<b>South African history textbook research - A review of the scholarly literature</b>]]> School history textbooks are seen to embody ideological messages about whose history is important, as they aim both to develop an 'ideal' citizen and teach the subject of history. Since the 1940s, when the first study was done, there have been studies of South African history textbooks that have analysed different aspects of textbooks. These studies often happen at a time of political change (for example, after South Africa became a republic in 1961 or post-apartheid) which often coincides with a time of curriculum change. This article provides an overview of all the studies of South African history textbooks since the 1940s. We compiled a data base of all studies conducted on history textbooks, including post graduate dissertations, published journal articles, books and book chapters. This article firstly provides a broad overview of all the peer-reviewed studies, noting in particular how the number of studies has increased since 2000. The second section then engages in a more detailed analysis of the studies that did content analysis of textbooks. We compare how each study has engaged with the following issues: the object of study, the methodological approach, the sample of textbooks and the theoretical or philosophical orientation. The aim is to provide a broad picture of the state of textbook analysis studies over the past 75 years, and to build up a database of these studies so as to provide an overview of the nature of history textbook research in South Africa.