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Yesterday and Today

On-line version ISSN 2309-9003
Print version ISSN 2223-0386

Y&T  n.18 Vanderbijlpark Dec. 2017

 

Editorial

 

 Warnich Pieter

The Editorial Board is delighted to announce that Yesterday&Today has made more great strides in increasing the visibility, accessibility, impact and distribution of the journal nationally and internationally. An application was submitted during March of this year and in October it was accepted into the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open-access, peer-reviewed journals. The statistics show that per month more than 300 000 people from all over the world visit the DOAJ.

This last issue of Yesterday&Today for 2017 covers a variety of gem-like, well-argued research articles. The readers can look forward to learning more about the Afrikaner women's history at secondary school level, what it takes to teach History well and effectively, Cameroonian History textbooks, History education in Hungary, the reflective praxis of the name Social Sciences, and the implementation of technological tools in the teaching and learning of History.

Charl Blignaut kicks off in the first article, Integrating Afrikaner women's history in senior secondary school CAPS through an evaluation of women's "sense of independence", by motivating the need to integrate women's history with the curriculum. After evaluating the content in which women currently feature and outlining the challenges of integrating women's history, he concludes by postulating that the History Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) policy document is totally lacking in contextualising gender and integrating women's history, despite its claims that it supports citizenship within a democracy. In an insightful manner that serves as an example, Blignaut demonstrates how the Afrikaner women's "sense of independence" in their resistance against colonialism can be integrated with the teaching and learning of CAPS content at senior secondary level.

In the first of two international contributions, entitled What do I have to know to teach history well? Knowledge and expertise in History teaching - a proposal, Christian Heuer, Mario Resch and Manfred Seidenfuss focus on one of the key questions in History pedagogy: How does expertise arise from knowledge, and what does a History teacher really need to know to teach History effectively and efficiently? Founded on the general consensus that knowledge and competence exemplify the central parts of professional knowledge, the Heidelberg Model for Competence in History Teaching (Heidelberger Geschichtslehrerkompetenzmodell: HeiGeKo) was developed. This model aims to describe the professional competence of the History teacher by including domain-specific facets in its design, including knowledge of History, knowledge of History didactics, motivation, and teaching perception as the variables that steer the teaching and learning process in the History class. Through the proposed HeiGeKo model the authors attempt to initiate an ongoing discussion about the professional competence of History teachers.

In Historical knowledge-genre as it relates to the reunification of Cameroon in selected Anglophone Cameroonian History textbooks, Raymond Fru and Johan Wassermann analyse three textbooks against the backdrop of Anglophone plight linked to the reunification of French and British Southern Cameroons in 1961. Through a qualitative content analysis methodology using a postcolonial interpretivist lens, three Anglophone Cameroonian History textbooks were purposively selected in order to explore their representation of historical genres and knowledge as they relate to the reunification ofCameroon. The findings were inter alia that the relevant authors employed explanatory, narrative and descriptive historical genres in the textbooks. These genres revealed distinct characteristics of factorial and consequential explanations of elite historical characters, events and places. The study furthermore showed an evident discourse of an Anglophone identity/nationalism in the textbooks. Lastly, Fru and Wassermann found that the Anglophone History textbooks in Cameroon - in contrast with the trend internationally - have not followed the progression from a substantive to a procedural view of historical knowledge.

Karl Benziger, in The strong state and embedded dissonance: History education and populist politics in Hungary, focus on the state's presentation of Hungary's interwar history as opposed to that found in textbooks and curricula. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's stated aim is to create an illiberal state, but an embedded dissonance found in texts undergirds the dream of a liberal republic found in the failed revolutions of 1848 and 1956. The Hungarian past remains unsettled and political parties in the contemporary state utilize selective segments of this history to legitimize their respective platforms. An examination of history texts, curricula, and the state's presentation of history help us to better understand the development of strong state politics in the 21st century.

In Rethinking the reflective praxis of the name Social Science: Pedagogical 'mischief in the Grade 4 to 9 Social Science curriculum, Maserole Christina Kgari-Masondo argues that the integration of the Geography and History components of Social Sciences occurs administratively and is therefore disconnected and pedagogically speaking "mischievous". Drawing qualitatively from the experiences and perceptions of Social Sciences PostGraduate Certificate Education trainee students, the "mischiefs" embedded in the curriculum are discussed and exposed. She consequently calls on policy makers and textbook writers for a reflective praxis by adopting an integrated "border crossing pedagogy" Social Sciences curriculum that includes diverse knowledge and not only western epistemology. Kgari-Masonda believes that such an approach will not only impact largely on the design of the curriculum but also on textbooks, as no textbook exist that integrates History and Geography or vice versa.

The seasoned History teacher, Paul Haupt, in the hands-on article, Reaching beyond the confines of the classroom. A hands-on discussion of the implementation of rapidly improving technological tools in History pedagogy, creatively shares his experiences and insights on technology and teaching. For the History teacher to remain relevant in the 21st century classroom and to keep the subject on the forefront of intellectual interrogation of world events, he believes that a multiplicity of technology tools should be utilised. He discusses the advantages of utilising technology and how the application thereof will not only benefit learners, but also the entire school community. At the same time, he warns against the dangers of using technology in the classroom and makes some suggestions on how to circumvent it. In conclusion he gives examples of useful and available technological tools whereby History teachers and learners can benefit in the teaching of History in order to maximise their learning potential.

In the book review section, Ntombiyoxolo Mqadi critically reviews Johann Wassermanns publication: Teaching Social Sciences: Intermediate and Senior Phases. This is followed by Fezeka Gxwayibeni's review of Carolyn Hamilton and Nessa Leibhammer's Tribing and Untribing the Archive: Volumes 1 & 2.

The annual presidential report and the AGM minutes of the South African Society for History Teaching (SASHT), which are traditionally covered in the December issue of Yesterday&Today, do not appear in this issue. Due to practical considerations, the Editorial Board decided that these contributions will be published in the July 2018 edition. However, information is provided on the September conference held at the River Sun Hotel in Vanderbijlpark, where the SASHT acted as host for the International Society for History Didactics (ISHD).

Also in this edition a copy can be seen of the front page of a new book that will be released in January 2018. The book, entitled Teaching & learning History and Geography in the South African classroom, was edited by Elize van Eeden and Pieter Warnich, with Aubrey Golightly acting as the consulting editor for the Geography section. This long-awaited publication is the first to consider teaching and learning History and Geography as interconnected disciplines and will benefit specialists and prospective specialists in the fields of the education sciences and the social sciences.

The Editorial Board would further like to take the opportunity to extend their congratulations to the new elected Executive of the SASHT for the 2017-2020 term. The members are: Mr Barry Firth (President); Dr Pieter Warnich (Vice-president), Dr Kate Angier, Ms Marj Brown, Ms Michelle Friedman, Mr Jake Manenzhe, Dr Marshall Maposa, Ms Leah Nasson, Ms Rika Odendaal-Kroon and Ms Gill Sutton. The respective portfolios will be announced at a later date, when other members may also be co-opted. To the outgoing Executive, thank you for your inputs and contributions over the past three years.

Professor Elize van Eeden served on the Executive for a period of 25 years - first as secretary and for the past nine years as chairperson. The Editorial Board extend their appreciation for her untiring efforts to keep the SASHT standing during difficult times (see Henriette Lubbe's note of appreciation that appears in this edition). On the next page Professor van Eeden shares her memories with Yesterday&Today about her time serving on the SASHT Executive.

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