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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

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

Teaching Social Sciences: Intermediate and senior phases

 

 

Ntombiyoxolo Mqadi

University of KwaZulu-Natal. Ntombiyoxolomqadi95@gmail.com

 

 

(Oxford University Press, 180 pp. ISBN 978 0 19 042145 8) Johan Wassermann (Ed.)

The book titled Teaching Social Sciences: Intermediate and senior phases is a great compilation comprising six chapters that engages with issues concerning the teaching of Social Sciences in the intermediate and senior phases. The six chapters deal with issues like the history of social sciences, the need for teaching History and Geography, using an Ubuntu-based pedagogy and integrating ICT when teaching Social Sciences.

The first chapter is about the Social Sciences in the South African curriculum whereby the history of social sciences in South African education is traced covering even the apartheid era up to the present day. This chapter gives an idea of the aspects that inform the designation of the social sciences in the current Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). The second chapter of this book focuses on integrating the philosophy of Ubuntu when teaching social sciences in intermediate and senior phases. In this chapter, the author highlights that it is of significance not to teach only for Ubuntu; rather teach through Ubuntu.

Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the teaching of History and Geography in the Social Sciences intermediate and senior phases. In Chapter 3, the book provides an explanation of the teaching of History in the Social Science intermediate and senior phase. The need to teach History in the Social Sciences intermediate and senior phases is explained with factors such as the need to develop and enhance learners' awareness of local, national and international historical events leading to learners knowing and understanding their history and heritage. A further factor is the need to awaken learners to their true identity. By reading this chapter alone, one gains an understanding of second order concepts and how to make sense of historical.

In Chapter 4, the author highlights the significance of teaching Geography in the Social Sciences intermediate and senior phases. The author highlights that teaching Geography in the Social Sciences is important because it develops learners' knowledge in terms of location of places on the map. The author also stresses that teaching Geography in the intermediate and senior phases assists learners in terms of understanding how to make this world a better place to live in by applying sustainability and being open minded about phenomena that cause natural disasters.

The author of Chapter 5 focuses on the teaching of Social Sciences in the intermediate and senior phases through media and ICT. In this chapter, the author discusses the integration of ICT when teaching Social Sciences and explains the reasons for using ICT. One of the main points highlighted in this chapter is how ICT helps in the improvement of learners' understanding. In Chapter 6, the author engages on planning to teach and assess Social Sciences in the intermediate and senior phases. Some of the steps to consider when planning Social Sciences lessons and assessments are recommended.

There is sound coherence in the manner in which the chapters are arranged, with each chapter focusing on a unique, but relevant issue. Even for teachers of other subjects could find this book useful in terms of teaching philosophies, strategies and application. For example, the integration of media and ICT can be applied to other disciplines. The language used in this book used is comprehendible, which makes this book is user-friendly. Both novice and experienced teachers will find this book of practical assistance.

The book can be of good use not only for South African Social Sciences teachers, but also for those from other parts ofAfrica and the rest of the world. However, it is especially important for teachers on the African continent who still struggle to find books that are relevant to their context. The African lenses used in the book make it very significant at a time when there are debates about the nature of education in a post-colonial dispensation. It would be highly appreciated if the authors of this book came together again to compile a book similar to this one for the teaching of History and the teaching of Geography for the Further Education and Training phase and even for higher education as well.

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