Original Research - Transdisciplinary manifestations in Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Studies Education

The representation of the temporal notion of post-colonial Africa in South African history textbooks

Marshall T. Maposa
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 14, No 2 | a485 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v14i2.485 | © 2018 Marshall T. Maposa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 October 2017 | Published: 14 August 2018


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

This article is premised on the current (2015–2016) developments in South Africa whereby the country’s youth are increasingly engaging in discourses of South Africa’s post-colonial condition and the need for decolonisation. But how do the history textbooks that they use in schools construct this contentious post-colonial period? On this basis, the main objective is to examine the temporal representation of post-colonial Africa in South African history textbooks. Critical discourse analysis was applied on a sample of four National Curriculum Statement-aligned textbooks with a focus on sections that covered content on post-colonial Africa. The findings from the textual analysis show that the temporal notion of post-colonial Africa is not clearly framed within a particular period. The ambiguity of the temporal notion, a fundamental concept in history, stems from the fact that the lexicalisations used as time markers in the textbooks cannot be linked to one particular date, resulting in a post-colonial Africa whose beginning and – more specifically – end cannot be unambiguously determined. The textbooks also sometimes refer to the post-colonial period as singular, whereas in other cases they describe the period as consisting of different phases. I conclude that such ambiguity reveals a loophole in educating the learners about a period whose circumstances they are trying to not only engage but also transform.

Keywords

post-colonial Africa; history textbooks; temporal notion

Metrics

Total abstract views: 104
Total article views: 91


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.