Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Yesterday and Today]]> vol. num. 12 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>The "dance" of reconciliation: Understanding the complex steps in a reconciliatory pedagogy using an oral history assignment</b>]]> This article is about understanding the challenges and successes of a reconciliatory pedagogy with second-year student history teachers, eleven years after South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established. While the TRC report stated that it started South Africa on the journey towards reconciliation, it never claimed that it was able to achieve this goal, although its legacy continues to affect the way reconciliation unfolds in this country. Education plays an important role in addressing the effects of conflict on the second generation, but the contribution history education could make has largely been ignored (Cole & Barsalou, 2006). Using eight interviews with student history teachers, which reflected on an oral history assignment at the University of the Witwatersrand, this article focuses on understanding the complex steps involved in a reconciliatory pedagogy. Applying the image of the "dance" of reconciliation (Lederach 1999) and selected examples from the TRC to the data from the interviews, helped to contextualise the students' responses in relation to the main ideas that inform reconciliation. This provided insights into the twists and turns involved in this difficult process, and how it affected relationships between the first and second generations. It also allowed me the opportunity to reflect on my own practice as a history teacher educator. <![CDATA[<b>The <i>Miracle Rising</i><sup>®</sup> as source for teaching History: Theoretical and practical considerations</b>]]> Twenty years ago, all South Africans - for the first time - had the privilege to vote on an equal basis for the political party to govern the country in the years to come. It was an extraordinary and a momentous phase in the country's history - a historical milestone indeed. Mr Mandela referred to this occasion as a small miracle. This was undeniably so if one considers that colonial, apartheid, racial and cultural legacies have immensely contributed to divisions, distrust, violence and killings among people of all races and colour. To digestibly capture relics of these memories of reality in a single historical documentary accessible to the ordinary man through the Internet and other media, the producing of Miracle Rising® was and is welcomed in the public domain. To what extent educators of History in South Africa have responded to this documentary since 2012, and have considered using it in History classes, is not known. However, this paper intends to focus on its theoretical and practical value for teaching History that should be embraced in every History class. Teaching Miracle Rising® provides for opportunities to address a very difficult yet jubilant phase in the history of a country so long aspiring for equality and peace. The process leading to South Africa becoming democratic can be regarded as a sensitive topic to teach because of the racist, politically violent and culturally intolerant undertones that occurred decades before the April 1994 election. A maturity with regard to teaching, comprehensive knowledge, as well as an efficient application of teaching skills and assessment techniques will be pivotal in overcoming the moments of sensitivity, especially those captured in Miracle Rising®. <![CDATA[<b>The American Indian Civil Rights Movement: A case study in Civil Society Protest</b>]]> The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) of 2012 focuses on certain aspects of the social upheaval the US experienced during the 1960s and 1970s. Under the heading of "Civil society protests of the 1950s to the 1970s", grade 12 learners examine the American Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the Women's movement, and the various peace movements, of that period. However, most South African educators and students are unfamiliar with another, similar movement of the same time period, the American Indian people's movement for civil rights. Some familiarity with this movement and its historical background may offer the classroom teacher an opportunity for the enrichment of historical study and learning. Knowledge of this movement can provide a broader context for the topics specified by CAPS. The history of the Native American peoples is often neglected in the study of US history. Just as the history of the African people of South Africa has become central to a complete understanding of the development of this country, so a renaissance in the study of American Indian history has become important in history teaching and learning in the United States. In particular American race relations issues are better understood in a context of black-white-Indian issues than in terms of a simple black-white bi-polarity. Furthermore, such awareness introduces the possibility for conducting comparative historical analysis in the South African classroom. This paper first establishes the historical background of19th century white-Indian relations. This was a period of intermittent warfare, followed by treaty-making and the confinement of Indian people to reservations. From the 1880s onward, these reservations were all but destroyed by new government policy through the Dawes Act. The 20th century was a period of changed and changing government policy toward the Indian population. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 partially revived Indian tribal life. However, after the Second World War, further damage to tribal life was caused by the policy of the termination of relations between the government and the tribes. This led to the growing militancy of Indian response, in the 1960s and 1970s. The American Indian Movement (AIM) and other Indian organisations confronted the state and Federal governments, in Indian country and beyond, on reservations and in the US Supreme Court. These confrontations (from the late 1950s to the early 1970s) precisely coincide with the time period specified in CAPS. By the end of this period, the American public image of the Indian peoples had begun to change and a general awareness of Indian problems and issues began to express itself. <![CDATA[<b>History textbooks facing controversial issues - case study of the Martial law in Poland</b>]]> Martial law is one of the most controversial periods in the post-WWII history of Poland. Introduced on December 13, 1981 it ended the 16-month-long "festival of Solidarity". Official reasons for its imposition were to prevent further degradation of Poland's economy and social structures, but a threat of Soviet military intervention was also suggested. The opposition activists perceived it as an attempt of the totalitarian regime to save its falling position with the use of most brutal methods, unknown in Poland since the Stalinist period. The article is based on the analysis of contemporary Polish school history textbooks for all levels of education. It aims to present the strategies adopted by the textbook authors to deal with this controversial issue. The author will attempt to find answers to the following questions: Do the text book authors notice the controversies? Do they show one or more points of view? Do they ask students about their own opinions or about the opinions of their friends or relatives? Are the textbooks open for different interpretations or do they, explicitly or implicitly, prefer only one? How emotional is the text and other materials? How have the textbooks changed since the collapse of the communist regime in 1989? <![CDATA[<b>Inspiring History learners: Getting the recipe right in the History classroom</b>]]> History teachers work on techniques and methods to inspire learners. If the teacher gets the recipe right in the classroom, history learners will enjoy and apply themselves to the subject, their understanding of content will increase, and they will acquire the necessary skills to achieve results. A technique used to inspire learners beyond the confines of the covers of a textbook, will be shared. The technique includes inviting outside speakers to share their curriculum-relevant personal stories and experiences with learners in the classroom. It will be argued that the value of introducing other 'voices' into the history classroom to enrich teaching and learning is only effective if underpinned by an ethos which advocates active citizenship, reinforced by a passionate teacher with subject specific knowledge, in a classroom structured to facilitate critical conversation. <![CDATA[<b>Achieving results in History and the role of the teacher: A learner's perspective</b>]]> Matriculating in December 2013 from a co-educational government school in the Western Cape, the writer was the top student in the National Senior Certificate examinations for History in the Province. She shares her personal experience, by providing insight from a learner's perspective, on the importance of studying history. She further shares her opinion on how a learner's achievement can be directly affected by a teacher's input and method of teaching. Based on her experience, she comments on the traits present in a superior teacher, teaching methods and techniques which she found effective in her learning experience, and what aspects of teaching contributed to her academic success, passion for history and its utility, and development as a person. <![CDATA[<b>The value of tours around heritage sites with Melville Koppies as an example</b>]]> Tours enrich and reinforce textbook and classroom history, inspire further study, and promote an appreciation of past cultures. This paper discusses the value of guided tours on Melville Koppies, a Nature Reserve and Johannesburg Heritage Site. Melville Koppies offers evidence ofman-made structures and artefacts reflecting Pre-History from Early Stone Age to Iron Age in this undeveloped pristine reserve where the natural sciences and social sciences meet. The site includes evidence of gold mining attempts, the Second Anglo-Boer War and modern history up to present times. The panoramic view from the top ridges of the Koppies encompasses places of rich historical interest, of which many, such as Sophiatown and Northcliff Ridge, were affected by apartheid. Guided tours are tailored to educators' requirements and the age of students. These educators usually set their own pre- or post-tour tasks. The logistical challenges for educators of organising such three-hour tours are discussed. History, if part of a life-time awareness, is not confined to primary, secondary or tertiary learners. Further education for visitors of all ages on guided tours is also discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Historic Environment Education - Vaal River tunnels: The forgotten history of the early days of coal in the Vereeniging area</b>]]> This article describes a part of the history of coal in the Vereeniging area which has, as far as could be determined, not been documented in detail before. Information was obtained from written primary and secondary as well as oral sources. In the article it is also explained how this content can be integrated into Social Sciences, History and Geography teaching as part of historic environment education. <![CDATA[<b>Book Reviews</b>]]> This article describes a part of the history of coal in the Vereeniging area which has, as far as could be determined, not been documented in detail before. Information was obtained from written primary and secondary as well as oral sources. In the article it is also explained how this content can be integrated into Social Sciences, History and Geography teaching as part of historic environment education.