NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1107609
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1814-6627
Historical Literacy in a Context of Patriotic History: An Analysis of Zimbabwean History Textbooks
Maposa, Marshall Tamuka; Wassermann, Johan
Africa Education Review, v11 n2 p254-274 2014
History is one of the five compulsory subjects in Zimbabwe since 2001. This compulsion speaks to the value with which the government regards the subject especially in teaching the youth about the Chimurenga (War of Liberation). The discourses of war have intensified in Zimbabwe since the late 1990s leading to the growth of a historiography of patriotic history. In this paper we set out to identify the purpose of school history in Zimbabwe through analysing the contemporary history textbooks. The literature that we reviewed focused on the concept of historical literacy and history textbooks. We conceptualised that historical literacy refers to the benchmarks an individual attains through studying history such as knowledge; conceptual understanding; source work/historical method; historical consciousness and historical language. We purposively selected a sample of three history textbooks on the basis that these textbooks reflect the nature of historical literacy that the history learners should attain. We then applied the qualitative textual analysis methodology and specifically the discourse analysis method to analyse the preface, narrative text, visuals, sources and exercises. The findings show that the analysed textbooks promote a historical literacy dominated by knowledge at the expense of the other benchmarks. This is evidence of a content-heavy curriculum, but the fact the findings follow one narrative (an African nationalist narrative) speaks to the discourses of patriotic history coming from the government. Therefore although the textbooks were produced in the early 1990s, they have continued to be used in the schools almost twenty years later because they promote a historical literacy that works in tandem with patriotic history.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Zimbabwe
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A