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Volume Editors: Denise Bentrovato and Johan Wassermann
Emerging from the pioneering work of the African Association for History Education (AHE-Afrika), Teaching African History in Schools offers an original Africa-centred contribution to international history education research. Edited by AHE-Afrika’s founders and directors, the volume thus addresses a notable gap in this field by showcasing otherwise marginalised scholarship from and about Africa.

Teaching African History in Schools constitutes a unique collection of nine empirical studies, interrogating curriculum and textbook contents, and teachers’ and learners’ voices and experiences as they relate to teaching and learning African history across the continent and beyond. Case studies include South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Cameroon and Tanzania, as well as the UK and Canada.

Contributors are: Denise Bentrovato, Carol Bertram, Jean-Leonard Buhigiro, Annie Fatsereni Chiponda, Raymond Nkwenti Fru, Marshall Tamuka Maposa, Abdul Mohamud, Sabrina Moisan, Reville Nussey, Nancy Rushohora, Johan Wassermann, and Robin Whitburn.
In: Teaching African History in Schools

Abstract

This concluding chapter fleshes out and reflects on the positionality, premises and vision underpinning this book project and the journey undertaken towards its materialisation. It thereby also retraces some of the specific contributions made by each author and their respective chapters to the goals and visions embodied in this collective project. Conceived of as a fundamentally anti-colonial and decolonising act, this project is presented as seeking to counter the coloniality of knowledge under which history education currently exists by showcasing scholarship about, from and for Africa. It is regarded as a response to the large-scale marginalisation of Afrocentric history educationists and their knowledge from the spaces in which history education knowledge is produced, a condition which both alienates those excluded and makes little sense in an African context that is hardly ever considered.

In: Teaching African History in Schools

Abstract

This chapter investigates, through in-depth interviews, the “emotion discourse” of Rwandan secondary-school history teachers in relation to the genocide experienced by this country, the teaching of which is expected of schools as part of a nation-building project that aims at the eradication of internalised colonial identities in favour of national unity and reconciliation. The study points to the determining role of the associated emotions in shaping, and often constraining, teaching and learning experiences related to the genocide and its history. Having uncovered teachers’ profound apprehension towards the potentially adverse sequelae of uncontrolled classroom discussions, the chapter identifies teachers’ application of a multifaceted regulatory strategy of deliberate selectiveness and limited disclosure. The pedagogical choices made around the mediation and management of student exposure to traumatising content, the performance of neutrality, and the manufacture of unity and consensus alongside the neutralisation of perceived illegitimate narratives all reflect facets of this strategy in action. The study ultimately evidences the need to better support Rwandan history teachers in adequately addressing the challenges and multidirectional societal demands they might encounter in this post-colonial, post-conflict context.

In: Teaching African History in Schools