Heritage in contemporary grade 10 South African history textbooks : a case study.
Drawing on two research questions, this study presents an understanding of the nature of heritage in selected contemporary Grade 10 South African history textbooks, and elucidates factors responsible for the depiction of heritage in a particular way. The context that informed this study was that of South Africa as a post-conflict society. Using the interpretivist paradigm and approached from a qualitative perspective, this case study produced data on three purposively selected contemporary (post-1994) South African history textbooks with regards to their representation of heritage. Lexicalisation, a form of the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was used as method to analyse the pre generated data from the selected textbooks following Fairclough’s (2003) three dimensions of describing, interpreting, and explaining the text. The study adopted a holistic approach to heritage as a conceptual framework whilst following social constructionism as the lens through which heritage was explored in the selected textbooks. My findings from this study concluded that although educational policy in the form of the NCS-History clearly stipulates the expectations to be achieved from the teaching and learning of heritage at Grade 10 level, there are inconsistencies and contradictions at the level of implementation of the heritage outcome in the history textbooks. Key among the finding are the absence of representation of natural heritage, lack of clear conceptualisation of heritage, many diverse pedagogic approaches towards heritage depiction, a gender and race representation of heritage that suggests an inclination towards patriarchy and a desire to retain apartheid and colonial dogma respectively,and finally a confirmation of the tension in the heritage/history relationship. The study discovered that factors such as the commercial and political nature of textbooks, the lack of understanding of the debates around the heritage/history partnership, and the difficulties involved in post-conflict reconstruction are responsible for this type of heritage depiction in the textbooks.