Original Research

History education and citizenship conundrum: Experiences and perspectives of Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education history teachers in Lesotho

Raymond N. Fru, Makatleho Liphoto
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 17, No 1 | a975 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v17i1.975 | © 2021 Raymond N. Fru, Makatleho Liphoto | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 October 2020 | Published: 22 April 2021

About the author(s)

Raymond N. Fru, Department of Human Sciences, School of Education, Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, South Africa
Makatleho Liphoto, Department of Languages and Social Education, Faculty of Education, National University of Lesotho, Roma, Lesotho


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Abstract

There have been serious efforts across countries to make history education more relevant. One such global effort is the integration of citizenship values into the history curriculum and syllabus of schools. Despite the successes of this initiative in some contexts, others have received it with mixed feelings thereby problematising its implementation and compromising the chances of a successful outcome. This article interrogates the relationship between school history and citizenship through an exploration of the perceptions of history teachers in Lesotho about the promotion of citizenship values through history education. The rationale for the investigation stems from the inclusion of citizenship values as part of the aims of the Lesotho General Certificate of Secondary Education (LGCSE) history syllabus. The study operated within the interpretive paradigm and a qualitative case study approach of four purposively selected high schools and eight teachers in Maseru, Lesotho. The data collected from semi-structured interviews revealed that the teachers possess very vague and varying understandings of citizenship. This vagueness ultimately translates into the classroom practice in the form of a lack of harmonious implementation of the LGSCE history syllabus’ prescriptions on citizenship values. The teachers however, have a mostly positive feeling about the importance of imparting citizenship values to learners, especially in the unique context of Lesotho through history education. This article recommends that the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) initiates a robust curriculum reflection process, together with relevant stakeholders that will inform policy on the effective implementation of the citizenship clauses of the LGSCE history syllabus.

Keywords

citizenship; curriculum; history teaching; Lesotho; LGCSE.

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