Supporting the curriculum planners
At the end of 2018 Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, announced that she had appointed a Ministerial Task Team, led Professor Sifiso Ndlovu, to review the school History curriculum. Media reports noted that Minister Motshekga’s statement indicated that the new curriculum would have a more “Afrocentric” feel to it, that history could become mandatory for all learners right up to grade 12 and that a “History Teacher Development Programme” was on the cards for both Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and In-service Teacher Education.
In February this was the background to a Saturday discussion held at the APC on how history educators might support school-based history teachers to meet the challenges of teaching what the CAPS curriculum currently terms the time of Transformation, i.e. c.1750-1835, both more effectively and with greater enthusiasm. The discussion focussed on pedagogy, teaching resources and the challenges of disciplinary knowledge which is often inaccessible to school teachers. The discussion also considered how the long past of southern African history might be taught more meaningfully in a new curriculum. Participants Kate Angier (Education UCT) and Gill Sutton (History educator)presented and reviewed teaching resources that they have been creating and using in a variety of classrooms with teachers. Other participants were Lindsay Wills (from The Answer Series);Phillipa Visser (textbook writer and Head of History, Springfield Convent); Amy Wilkinson (Head of Grade 10 History, Wynberg Girls High School); Sabelo Skenjana (History educator, Manzomthombo High School), Amanda Esterhuysen (Archaeology, Wits) and from the APC research associates Cynthia Kros and John Wright, and the APC Chair, Carolyn Hamilton.