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The views of selected South African history teachers on school history as specialised subject knowledge.

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The deteriorating number of learners doing History in schools around Empangeni or King Cetshwayo distric after the introduction of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) led to the omission of History in most of the schools’ curricula. This omission affected some history teachers who had to be displaced to other schools. However, the views of History teachers pertaining to this omission have never been fully explored in order to understand how they look at the specialised subject knowledge that School History offers, which may be a contributing factor to this deterioration. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand the views of History teachers on School History as specialised subject knowledge. This study adopted the qualitative research approach and interpretivism paradigm because they both help to understand the phenomenon under scrutiny. I purposively sampled with seven professionally qualified history teachers. For data generation, I used document analysis, card sort and semistructured interviews and analysed data thematically. The study revealed that School History develops knowledge in different aspects. These aspects are historical knowledge, common or general knowledge, political knowledge, generic and historical skills, as well as character education. The findings further revealed that the views of History teachers were influenced by a deep rurality as experience, their primary training as history teachers in a different era under apartheid when School History as a memory discipline under apartheid was the key as is borne out by their teaching experience of more than 20 years, different curricula they endured over two political eras, their lack of exposure and understanding of the specialised subject knowledge of School History, History serves as a utilitarian value to the society, their possession of strong views and they were set in their views on School History as specialised subject knowledge. The findings revealed that School History is significant and has a potential to develop the knowledge for learners. Therefore, the study has contributed to the literature on how history teachers view School History as specialised subject knowledge as well as why they viewed it the way they did. The study has also alluded to the impact of the views of history teachers on the teaching of School History as specialised subject knowledge through the CAPS curriculum.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.