"History through drama" : perceptions, opinions, and experiences of history educators in the further education and training (FET) band at schools in the eThekwini region, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
The National Curriculum Statement for history aims to make history accessible and enjoyable to all learners. To do this, educators have to interest and engage their charges in the classroom by using learner-centred methodologies, including drama strategies. This study aimed to determine the perceptions, opinions, and experiences of history educators in the Further Education and Training (FET) band at schools in the eThekwini region, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). To determine such perceptions, opinions, and experiences, mixed research was undertaken using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The research process began with the quantitative method using a questionnaire, and was followed by the qualitative methods using interviews and observations. However, data analysis of both strands of the research process was integrated, following the requirements of mixed research. The research revealed that while the sampled educators experienced many frustrations in their classrooms, they claimed to want to improve their methods of teaching. They alleged to believe in the power of drama strategies to engage their learners and build historical skills, but very rarely used these strategies. Because they perceived drama to imply putting on a play, they could not envision drama strategies to serve as effective teaching methodologies, and generally used traditional methods of talking and reading in their history classrooms to feed facts to learners. The system in which they worked appeared to conspire against them as it demanded prescriptive requirements while advocating creative methodologies. Thus, sampled history educators resorted to what had worked in the past, and used methodologies which no longer conformed to the present curriculum's requirements.