SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
 issue6 author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Yesterday and Today

Print version ISSN 2223-0386

Yesterday Today  n.6 Vanderbijlpark Jan. 2011

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

Viva History Learner's Book Grade 10

 

 

Thersia Rossouw

Crawford College, Pretoria trossouw@crawfordschools.co.za

 

 

(Vivlia education for the Nation Publishers & Booksellers (Pty) Ltd, Florida, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4307-1142-1)

KL Angier, JT Hobbs, EA Horner, RL Mowatt, G Nattrass & JA Wallace

The implementation of the new CAPS document is eased with the publication of the Viva History Learner's Book Grade 10. All in all it is a thoroughly researched, user-friendly, thought provoking and including intriguing information that encompasses the ideal of 'teaching beyond the curriculum.' The Grade 11 and 12 textbooks are still based on the prescriptions of the old NCS document, however, eager teachers who would like to prepare in advance for the final implementation of the CAPS document will be able to use some of the information provided in these textbooks. If the Grade 10 book is a precursor for the Grade 11 and 12 textbooks, we can expect textbooks of high quality for the implementation of the CAPS document.

Chapter 1 of Viva History Learner's Book Grade 10 covers the main prescribed theory about China (pp. 13-21), however, the authors also brought in some interesting extra and relevant information e.g. footbinding as well as the contact with Europeans. A bit more information could have been added about Zheng He. With regard to Songhai (pp. 22-30) all the prescribed CAPS information is included with added information about the role of women as well as contact with the Europeans. The same extra information is also provided in the India (pp. 31-37) and the role of women in the European (pp. 38-46) sections. Under the India section more information is needed about astronomy and technology. Clear explanations about the different types of sources (p. 10) are accompanied with examples. In the first Chapter an introduction for essay writing (pp. 47 - 49) and a brief explanation of the structure for essay writing is discussed.

Chapter 2 (pp. 52-113) looks at European expansion, and the case studies about America include the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and the Incas. Under the African case study the authors included South Africa. According to the CAPS document each case study should include the process of colonialism: why slavery started; slave trading; the consequences of slavery to the indigenous societies. The slavery example that the authors chose pertains to Mexico (p. 81). This chapter includes a useful example of how to read source attribution (pp. 54-56), comparing visual sources (p. 81) and brainstorm ideas. These are useful hints in order to achieve the required skills. An introduction to essay writing skills (pp. 47- 49) is presented in a practical and user-friendly manner. Also included is the matrix used to mark the essay that will assist the student to see what is required in the essay. On page 59 there is a map that might be difficult for a colour blind person to see the difference. The tonal values of the map must be changed, because it is difficult to make out the key. This aspect must also be taken in consideration with regard to some of the other maps as well as some of the photos.

Chapter 3 (pp. 114-163) focuses on the French Revolution and all the required information within the topic is covered. The authors also included the March of Women (p. 135). The authors describes the sequence of the French Revolution as according to the different phases, which makes it simple to comprehend cause and effect. This is much more sensible and systematic. Clear guidelines are provided to explain and analyse cartoons (pp. 116- 117).

Chapter 4 (pp. 164-229) covers two topics, which is understandable since the topics are overlapping. However, careful consideration must be taken to determine if there is enough content about all of the themes within each topic. For instance, according to the CAPS document various southern African kingdoms must be discussed to indicate that resettlement was not solely due to the Difaquane/ Mfekane. The skills focus (pp.167-169) in this chapter relates to judging the reliability of sources as well as developing paragraph writing skills.

The final chapter (pp. 278 - 351) includes the South African War also known as the Anglo-Boer War and South Africa becoming a Union. The authors use the term Randlords to refer to the capitalists and this will help the student to relate capitalism to the South African context. A suggestion would be concept clarification - the student must be made aware why the term South African War is used, as opposed to the Anglo-Boer War. On the technical side, the photo on page 302 of a communal room in the Workers Museum is printed too dark and the student will not be able to make anything out. The authors could have elaborated more on the concentration camps; the given information is too little for a student to form an opinion. There are many photos that could have been used for this section to teach the students the value of photos as primary sources. The skills focus refers to answering source based questions. What makes this a well-structured textbook with regard to assessment is the mark allocation given with the activities. This will inform the students from the beginning how many facts they need to write in order to obtain the maximum marks.

A matter of concern is the photo and information used (p. 325) about Helena Wagner. Women would dress up in male clothes for photos, but that did not mean that they participated in the Anglo-Boer War itself. In fact, according to Act No 20 of 1898 of the ZAR specified that only men should do military service. There are some cases where the wives of officers were accompanying the men on commando; and another example was that of Miss E Lotz who was a nurse. None of these women fought during their time on commando. According to F Pretorius, the photo of Wagner was taken for publicity purposes and the same female, and most probably during the same photo shoot is shown on her own in a photograph where her name is Mrs Berrett. Both photos were used for pro-Boer publicity. In 1903 the Wagner couple photo (the same one that is used in the textbook) was published in Germany. Then the latter photo of the same lady, but now known as Mrs Berrett was published in 1904 in the Netherlands. It is cardinal that the factual evidence is correct before the textbooks are distributed to schools. If the authors want to refer to a woman who fought in the Anglo-Boer War they should rather refer to Sara Raal.1 It is quite refreshing to have a history textbook that also includes the role played by women under each section.

The teacher's guide includes a phase plan (pp. v-ix), work schedule (pp. x-xvi), example of a lesson plan (p. xvii) and an assessment plan for Grade 10 History. This guide is condensed, but informative by providing general introductory overviews to each of the sections as well as including resources (books and websites). Rubrics (pp. 3, 9, 10,21, 29, 56) are included, however, it does not include a matrix to mark the extended writing questions. Cartoon, statistical and visual analysis activities are provided in the French Revolution (p. 33) section. This section includes helpful hints for the teacher to relay to the students to help them with skills development of explaining and interpreting sources. Well-structured formal assessment activities are provided (pp. 27, 41) based on the French Revolution, encouraging an understanding of a wide variety of sources and to interpret the given information and explain different perspectives. Additional extended writings are included (p. 43) that will help to develop extended writing skills early in the year. The guide also includes some extra information about the Tswana people (p. 53). Understanding different perspectives (p. 55) is also a prerequisite skill that is set out in a practical way. The guide even includes standardised tests (pp. 69 - 73). It includes a variety of source-based activities where the students are challenged to critically analyse the sources comparing different interpretations, pictorial sources, and source attributions.

The first three chapters (pp. 1- 101) does not relate to the new prescribed content of the CAPS document. It is still based on the old NCS curriculum2 namely the world in 1850, Imperialism and responses to colonialism in Africa and Asia. These topics were already taken out in 2007 according to Circular 56/20073, however, these topics are still covered in great detail in the textbook. The topics are interesting, but they are irrelevant for the old curriculum as well as the CAPS curriculum.

Chapter 5 (pp. 136-170) introduces a broad background about Russian society, the Crimean War and World War I, however, if it is compared to the CAPS document, these aspects are not a prerequisite. Even for the old curriculum it would be too much background. This chapter is lacking prescribed information e.g. no proper link is made between the 1905 and 1917 revolutions. As a matter of fact, the 1905 revolution is not discussed in great detail, which is strange taking into account the time spend on the broad background. The reasons for the 1917 revolutions could be more clearly defined. Furthermore, the latter part of the CAPS requirements is not adhered to. Lenin and the challenge to capitalism (p. 159) are not clearly defined. Nationalisation is listed in bullet form, however, the student need to understand why nationalisation would go against rugged capitalism. War Communism and the New Economic policy is also discussed in bullet form, however, it might be easier for the student to actually see clearly defined information about how War Communism forced communistic ideals, whereas the New Economic Policy was a 'temporary compromise' with capitalism. The student needs to understand the latter concept, since it is a practical example of communism versus capitalism. The student also needs to understand why the rich peasants (kulaks) a new social class, went against traditional socialistic beliefs. Very little is stated about Trotsky and Stalin (p. 167) and their power struggle. The whole section about Stalin and the Five Year Plans in particular collectivisation and industrialisation is not clearly discussed. The great purges and the show trials are not mentioned. The treatment of women under Stalin is not discussed and lastly no mention is made of how the Five Year Plans were interrupted because of the Second World War. Stalin's modernisation of the Soviet Union is of the utmost importance due to the impact it will have on the beginning of the Cold War. The student might not be able to understand how the Soviet Union became a superpower if he or she does not understand Stalinism. Little analysis is made of how communism challenged capitalism (p. 169). Unfortunately the student is deprived from grasping the deep-rooted conflict between communistic and capitalistic ideas. If the student does not grasp the animosities between these two ideologies at Grade 11 level, they will not be able to fully understand the Cold War in Matric. This chapter does not provide enough information, not for the old curriculum and neither for the new CAPS. Another matter of concern in this particular chapter is the pixelated pictures (pp. 142, 147, 161). It is unacceptable to have such poor quality pictures displayed in a textbook of this calibre.

Chapter 6 (pp. 171- 210) deals with the crisis of capitalism in the USA and the emergence of fascist economies. Although the authors focused more on the Great Depression and the New Deal, they did not provide substantial detail about the nature of capitalism, thus, also making it difficult for the students to fully understand the tensions that emerged after the Second World War leading to the Cold War. The American Dream and 1920s economical boom (pp. 174-175) is also not discussed in detail. It might not have been such a big problem for the old curriculum, however, it is prescribed for the new CAPS. The themes that are left out and not broadly covered, are themes prescribed by the CAPS document. The authors did mention Hoover (pp. 182-183) and some of his efforts to rescue the economy. Roosevelt's New Deal (pp. 184 - 187) specifically referring to relief, recovery and reform is not discussed, which is a pity, since it forms the core of the New Deal and the establishment of the Alphabet Agencies. Also, little mention is made of the US economic recovery due to the outbreak of the Second World War. Even for the old curriculum more elaboration is needed about the reconstruction (p. 203) and rise of the Nazis in Germany. Within the Japan (p. 208) section the authors linked the fascist ideas in Japan and Nazism in Germany. This relates to cause and effect. The authors connected the information to the specific values as prescribed by the old curriculum and CAPS document (p. 8) therefore encouraging the student to uphold the South African Constitution.

E.g. in Chapter 6 the authors looked at 'respect and support of those with different abilities' (p. 184) and they referred to Roosevelt who suffered from polio and he could barely stand without support, however, despite this he was still the President of the United States of America. These links will reinforce the ideas of democracy and responsibility.

Chapter 4 (pp. 102- 135) covers racist ideology. The authors provide quite an in depth background about the theories and practices around pseudoscientific racism and then they make a wonderful link with dioramas and the display of humans in museums (pp. 109- 112). This brings in to question on whether or not humans can be displayed. It is still a relevant and pressing matter e.g. human remains of Native Americans that are still kept at museums and not returned to the people for proper burial rites. What is lacking is a proper explanation as to why terms like 'Eskimos', 'Hottentot' and 'Bushman' (pp. 108 and 110) are terms that are no longer in use and furthermore the explanation must be given why these people are now known respectively as Inuit, Khoikhoi and San. An interesting topic, namely craniometry (pp. 113114), is discussed in more detail that will assist the students to understand the pseudo-scientific misunderstanding of intelligence. Social Darwinism in the USA, Britain and Europe (pp. 117-120) are not discussed in detail and no mention is made of race and eugenic practices in Namibia, which is prescribed in the CAPS document. This section, however, would be sufficient to use for the old curriculum.

The prescribed case study on Australia (pp. 121- 124) focuses on the 'White Australia Policy' and does not provide greater detail of the colonisation of Australia; 'racial suicide and racial decay'; children from Britain sent to boost the white population and no mention is made of the 'stolen generation' and the Cook and Neville's assimilation programme. This section is mostly source based and it will help the student to apply a variety of skills to analyse the sources, however, more substantial content would be advisable. The lack of content in this section makes it void of the objectives as set out by the CAPS document and even for the old curriculum that specifically prescribed how Aborigines were affected by scientific racism.

With regard to the second case study on Nazi Germany (pp. 129-134) the information lacks content and substantial detail. Although mention is made of the Roma people it is merely a paragraph and no mention is made of the Sinti. However, the authors did make an interesting connotation to the Rwanda genocide and they did refer to the value of honouring human beings (p. 134), however, the information is not substantial enough to be able to formulate a well-planned and structured argument for an essay. The latter part of the CAPS requirements such as choices that people made are not mentioned at all. For the old curriculum the latter part was not prescribed. The authors did make a connotation to the values by stating how people who were disabled and had hereditary diseases were persecuted (p. 134). This is encouraging, since it teaches lateral thinking and it will help the student to realise the importance of human rights and dignity for all.

In the CAPS document, Topic 5 entitled Nationalisms in South Africa, focuses on the Middle East and Africa. Chapter 7 (pp. 211-239) covers most of this topic. The authors start off with Pan Africanism. Unit 2 (pp. 220-230) focuses on South Africa and the authors discuss English jingoism, African nationalism, Afrikaner nationalism, the Indian and 'Coloured' people. What is lacking in this section is the origins of nationalism, the role of the middle class and the theory of nationalism as an imagined community. More elaboration is also needed on the rise of African and Afrikaner nationalism, since this is what the focus is on in the CAPS document. With regard to the old curriculum, the same applies but more detail is needed about the Indian and Coloured people as well. The majority of the information is source-based, which is helpful with the activities, however, a better balance should be made between sources and content. The authors then continue the radicalisation of Pan-Africanism (pp. 231-234). An interesting section is Unit 4 (pp. 235239), where the authors link nationalism, heritage and identity, however, they left out two important prescribed case studies on the Middle East and Ghana.

The final CAPS prescribed topic, entitled apartheid South Africa, is covered in Chapter 8 (pp. 240- 273). The authors explained social, economic and political segregation and then they discussed apartheid as a form of neocolonial power. The authors noted the political and economic aspects of apartheid. However, in this section most of the prescribed content is not covered. For example, mention is made of the start of the armed struggle (p. 266) referring to Cato Manor and then a brief reference to Sharpeville. No reference is made to the Rivonia Trial and how that affected the resistance. If one looks at the content as prescribed by the old curriculum the concepts of segregation (p. 243), apartheid (pp. 251-259), resistance (pp. 260-267) are discussed. The authors focus in the values sections on non-racialism and democracy. With regard to the resistance to apartheid (p. 247) prior to 1948 more elaboration is needed. No reference was made to the prescribed key question of the role of the international community (UNO) in the fight against apartheid. Furthermore, little reference was made to the last key question about the role that resistance played against human rights violations of the world (pp. 268-270).

Chapter 10 (pp. 294-311) looks at the changes in the world from 1850 to 1950. This is quite a good chapter giving the student a bird's eye view of the major events in the world and it will help the student to understand cause and effect. Very useful tables summarising major political systems of the world are used in this chapter.

Although the extra chapters (Chapter 9 and 10) are intriguing, it is not part of the prescribed old curriculum and/or CAPS, and therefore it is actually a waste to have these sections, unless it is to be used for enrichment. Chapter 9 might be used this year as a foundation for the prescribed Heritage assignment as required in the old curriculum. Greater care should have been taken to follow the guidelines of the old curriculum and CAPS document that prescribes what needs to be set out in the textbook. A History teacher using this textbook will still have to do additional research and compile extra notes for her/ his students in order to cover all the given content of the CAPS document. This is not why the CAPS document was compiled. The implementation of CAPS is to make the content more accessible, and easier for the teachers, but if the textbooks are lacking in content; the teachers are still at square one. The new CAPS based textbook will adhere more to the original goals of CAPS.

Each chapter starts with a useful timeline. Chapter 1 (pp. 1-63) focuses on the Cold War. The broad overview of the Cold War is covered, including important factors such as the Marshall Plan, Trumann Doctrine and the Berlin crisis. The map. (p. 4) does show the Soviet's encirclement by the USA,

however, a student who does not have Geography or who is not familiar with a globe, might find this map difficult to understand. The concepts Containment, Iron Curtain and brinkmanship were not clearly defined. There should also be a clear explanation of capitalism and communism to recap the content that they have learned in Grade 11. Looking at the prescribed content for the 2009 Examination Guidelines4 there is a lack of covering the prescribed content such as no clear explanation as to why conflict and tension emerged. The Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan is briefly discussed and without the proper background it might be difficult for the student to understand these policies within context of the Cold War. Berlin (pp. 7-9) is only briefly discussed. More detail is needed about the Berlin Blockade and the Berlin Airlift and why this can be seen as the first flashpoint of the Cold War. The first case study covers China, however, not enough content is given about the Cultural Revolution, it is merely mentioned (p. 25) in passing. Furthermore, no mention is made about the changing relationship with neighbouring states Tibet, India and Taiwan. There are also no mention of exactly to what extent China became a superpower by the time of Mao's death; how China tried to improve relations with the US nor is there mention of China's economic liberalisation. The extension of the Cold War is discussed in Unit 3 (pp. 2953) starting with Cuba and then the second prescribed case study on Vietnam. The section on Vietnam does not provide adequate content to study for the Examinations. It also lacks proper background information. Also included in this unit is the Middle East and Angola. Angola should rather be placed under Topic 2, entitled since it is one of the prescribed topics for a case study. The authors also included mediation attempts with reference to the Congo (p. 54) that is interesting information, however, it is not prescribed in CAPS anymore.

Chapter 2 (pp. 64-111) looks at Independent Africa and there are two comparative case studies namely Congo and Tanzania. Socialism and selfreliance is explained using Tanzania (p. 81) as an example, however, it only consists of two sources explaining the model. Kenya is used as an example of a capitalist model (p. 82) and it is not prescribed in the CAPS document. Angola (p. 50), as mentioned before, is discussed under Cold War. With regard to the 2009 Examination Guidelines this chapter is lacking substantial content to make this a viable option for the student to study.

Chapter 3 (pp. 112- 172) covers Civil Society Protest Movements. Thorough background is provided. Reference is made to women's liberation and feminist movements, however, no mention is made about women's identity in South Africa as prescribed by the CAPS. The first case study covers the US Civil Rights Movement (pp. 120 - 131) and most of the prescribed themes are covered, mostly by making use of sources. School desegregation, specifically Little Rock and the Selma-Montgomery marches are not mentioned. The Birmingham campaign is described using a source. This can be used to develop skills for understanding and interpreting sources, however, once again; content is needed to clearly define the importance of the Birmingham campaign and the Letter from Birmingham. Furthermore, the significance of the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Act of 1965 is not emphasised. The second case study covers the Black Power Movement (pp. 132- 136) including the role of Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. Although the second case study does have some interesting sources, it still lacks substantial content. Carmichael, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers each are discussed in a page or less. No mention is made about the significance of the Black Power Movement. Other topics that are also covered include World Nuclear Disarmament and Peace Movements, but no clear link is made with the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War. Student Movements (pp. 138-143) and Women's movements (pp. 153-155) are also discussed. The content of this chapter is not substantial enough according to the 2009 Examination Guidelines, nor is it for the new CAPS.

Topic 4 in the CAPS document deals with Civil Resistance in South Africa. In the term textbook Black Consciousness is discussed in Chapter 3. There is no clear background about changes that occurred in South Africa in the 1970s as prescribed in the 2009 Examination Guidelines. The aims of the Black Consciousness Movement (pp. 156-157) are clearly defined, but the role of Steve Biko is underplayed and there is only one source (p. 158) of an interview with Steve Biko. Very little information is provided on the Soweto Uprising (p. 160) and no reference is made to the effect of the Soweto Uprising. The reaction of the apartheid state to the Black Consciousness Movement and Steve Biko are not clearly defined. The impact of the Black Consciousness Movement and Steve Biko on South African politics (p. 163) is briefly mentioned. Not enough information is given about the crisis of apartheid in the 1980s.

Furthermore the crisis of apartheid is discussed in Chapter 5, Unit 1 (pp. 200-215) and therefore it is out of sequence. This will lead to confusion for the students. Although the authors discuss the UDF and provide sources to better understand the UDF, better reference could be made about the reasons as to why the UDF was established. There is, however, a very informative piece about the Rubicon speech (p. 215), but this should have been placed before the UDF so that the student can fully understand cause and effect. Although CAPS do not prescribe the role of the church, it would appear better if there was more than one sentence (p. 202) in the textbook. It does not clearly define the role of churches. Mention could have been made to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Reverent Beyers Naudé. No mention is made about the Mass Democratic Movement, End Conscription Campaign and the Black Sash. There is also a lack of information pertaining to international response to apartheid. The collapse of apartheid is briefly discussed and the authors mainly made use of sources and well structured activities that will help the student to engage critically with the sources. The Third Force is also discussed by making use of sources and the activity structured around the sources will help the student to judge the usefulness of the sources and to carefully analyse different interpretations.

Unit 4 (pp. 243- 253) covers the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The authors gave a good background description of the TRC and they referred back to the Nuremburg Trials (p. 243). They also focussed on similar commissions that were set up in Argentina and Chile (p. 244). This is excellent for the student to understand where the concept came from and to gain better understanding of world affairs. They might have also referred to the commission set up in Rwanda after the genocide, since it will show cause and effect and relate back to Rwanda that was mentioned under Eugenics in the Grade 11 textbook. Captain Brian Victor Mitchell (p. 248) is used as an example for the case study. The evaluation of the work of the TRC (p. 252) is inadequate. It must clearly define the successes, criticisms and limitations.

Chapter 4 (pp. 173- 195) covers the end of the Cold War and the impact it had on South Africa. Gorbachev's reforms are briefly mentioned (p. 181) and there is no significant reference to Poland and the Berlin Wall. Furthermore, there is also no clear reference to the reasons for the disintegration of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev's reforms. The role that the collapse of communism played to end apartheid (pp. 176- 184) is discussed and it is linked well to the topic, however, more elaboration is needed on this theme. With regard to

the 2009 Examination Guideline the prescribed section on the dominance of the USA (pp. 192-195) is not covered in detail. Also included in this chapter under Unit 2 is the impact that the collapse of communism had on Africa, however, this is not a prescribed theme for CAPS anymore. As for the 2009 Examination Guidelines this unit does not provide enough information at all. Instead of discussing Guinea- as prescribed, the authors discussed Guinea Bissau (pp. 188-191). The authors also only focused on West Africa, leaving out North Africa and Central Africa. One of the prescribed countries for this section is Angola, and there is no reference to Angola. Angola will be tested in 2013 before CAPS are implemented at Matric level.

Chapter 6 (pp. 260-310) elaborates on globalisation and it is linked to the emergence of the new world order theme, which does relate to the prescribed content of CAPS. This chapter is clear and it includes a variety of examples and sources e.g. referring to the influence of American culture (p. 285) by using photos of South African teenagers and Japanese teenagers. They wear the same clothes reflecting the American influence. Mention is also made of extremists, e.g. Greenpeace (p. 303) that then leads to the case study of extremism in protest (p. 304) and this relates to Civil Society Protests.

Chapter 7 focuses on ideologies and debates around heritage. A thorough chapter including a tangible unit about palaeontology, archaeology and genetics, however, it is not a main objective for the new CAPS document. The requirement for heritage is reduced to an assignment in Grade 10.

The content in this textbook does not follow the topics as stipulated in the 2009 Examination Guidelines nor the CAPS document. This will lead the students to be confused and they might leave out important sections when they study. Furthermore, it is also a concern that so many themes as prescribed by CAPS is either inadequately addressed or not even mentioned. This means, once again, that the teacher will have to compile extra notes in order to cover all of the CAPS requirements. Hopefully the new CAPS based textbook will be geared for the objectives set out by CAPS and not lack in content as its predecessor.

 

 

1 F Pretorius, Kommandolewe tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog 1899-1902 (Human & Rousseau, Kaapstad, 1991), p. 347-350.
2 This textbook was written in the mind frame for the NCS old curriculum. It is therefore, for the most part, outdated and only selected information can be used for the new CAPS document.
3 Department of Education, Circular 6/2007 Amendments to the Grade 11 and 12 History subject assessment guidelines ( Gauteng Provincial Government, Department of Education, Johannesburg, 2007).
4 Department: Education Republic of South Africa, History Grade 12 Examination Guidelines 2009 (National Senior Certificate, 2009).