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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


LUBBE, Henriette J.. Life on the fringes: the role of the Unisa Short Course in School History Enrichment in empowering teachers. Historia [online]. 2010, vol.55, n.1, pp.125-140. ISSN 2309-8392.

This article explores the role of the Unisa Short Course in School History Enrichment in empowering secondary school teachers to teach History and Social Science more effectively and creatively. It outlines the rationale behind the introduction of the course in 1998/9 and the various phases in tutorial materials development in response to continuous curriculum and education policy changes. Based on personal reflection and the findings of qualitative research conducted during 2009, the article highlights the marginalisation of History teachers, learners who elect to take History and professional historians engaged in teacher development, against the backdrop of a discipline that finds itself under severe pressure. It argues that this Short Course not only plays a significant role in History skills development at secondary school level, but that it also inspires and enhances the self-confidence of teachers and learners, thereby "breathing life" into both its clients and its developer, simultaneously assisting in keeping the discipline alive at secondary school level. Moreover, the course has uncovered admirable enthusiasm for their profession and subject among a small yet dedicated body of History teachers which is currently radiating wider than the History classroom into the heritage sector and the community at large.

Keywords : Department of History; Unisa; History; Social Sciences; South Africa; secondary schools; teachers; teacher training; open and distance learning; outcomes-based education (OBE); FET phase; Unisa Short Course in School History Enrichment; school history; heritage; museums; electronic resources; Historical Association of South Africa.

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