History resource materials in Transkei senior secondary schools : their availability and use
Author(s)Flatela, Andile Thaddeus L L
KeywordsHistory -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- South Africa -- Transkei
Experiential learning -- Education (Secondary) -- South Africa -- Transkei
Teaching -- Methodology
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThis dissertation, which was motivated by high failure rate in senior secondary history, is primarily an attempt at identifying some of the possible causes for poor performance in high school history in Transkei schools. One possible cause of the weak performance was identified as outmoded teaching methods which were encouraged by lack of adequate facilities and resources for history teaching and learning. The investigation took the form of a survey of both human and material resources in 30 of the then 210 senior secondary schools in Transkei. The survey questionnaire, which was directed to history teachers, covered aspects on personal information about the teachers, material resources and facilities for teaching history, and teaching methods related to history teaching. A total of 55 teachers responded to the questionnaire. The survey included all the three senior secondary school class levels, that is standard 8, 9 and 10. By looking at the nature of history as a discipline and the way in which students learn, it was discovered that at school level history could be learnt best through the 'experiential' approach. This is mainly because in dealing with time-past as it has to, history usually comes up with 'strange' concepts which cannot be easily grasped by present-day senior secondary teenagers. This is because understanding of historical concepts tends to develop slower than would generally be expected, unless it is re-enforced. In Transkei schools this problem of concepts understanding is made worse by the foreign language medium (English) in which the subject is taught. It is felt that these constraints could be partly aleviated with the use of audio-visual aids and self-activity teaching methods. However, this study revealed a gross inadequacy not only in facilities for teaching history but also of both human and material resources. This automatically discourages the 'new history' approach and teachers (most of whom are underqualified) tend to cling to the old-style lecture-textbook method to the detriment of their students. This study suggests that to improve this situation it is essential to upgrade both pre-service and in-service teachers' academic and professional standards. In addition history facilities and audio-visual materials should be generously supplied to afford ample opportunities for pupil activity. This then would be line with modern history teaching theories and, hopefully, would improve performance in history in this region.