How to Change the Past: Shifting Practices in African History Education Stream at ASAUK24
Posted on 7th November, 2023 in News
How to Change the Past: Shifting Practices in African History Education
Calls for improving the teaching of African history across the continent have been made by academics, activists, UNESCO, the popular press and school students themselves. These calls have identified issues such as the dominance of European history and the history of ‘great men’; the exclusion of marginalised groups; the lack of critical narratives; and the prevalence of rote-learning and teaching-to-test pedagogies.
Typically, curricula and textbooks focus on telling political histories of the nation-state via the triumphs and challenges of elite men in leadership positions. This results in the exclusion of social history and the erasure of women, LGBT peoples, nomadic communities and any groups who may trouble nationalist narratives. This stream seeks to hear from scholars either illuminating these erasures, pointing to instances of inclusive history education or imagining history education otherwise.
Currently, large-scale education policy changes in places such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa present both opportunities and challenges for history education reform. But it has yet to be seen if such policy changes will address the issues highlighted here. This stream presents an opportunity to take stock of change and continuity across contexts and to better understand the role of policy in creating affordances and constraints in the history education space.
The stream also aspires to emphasise the voices of teachers and students. Whilst curricula and policy play a role in structuring history education, too often it is assumed rather than investigated how these are experienced by teachers and students. The stream seeks to ask how classroom histories are navigated, internalised, ignored or resisted by teachers and students. This includes teachers-in-training as initial teacher education is a vital but under-emphasised arena which shapes later classroom interactions. Voices from these spaces can shed light on changing pedagogical interactions beyond the assumptions of official documents.
Please be in touch with stream organiser Dr Abigail Branford <firstname.lastname@example.org> to discuss your proposal.