|Curriculum Guide / VHS tape||$21.95|
In his books White Supremacy and Black Liberation, George M. Fredrickson has compared the histories of the United States and South Africa, arguing for the recognition of similarities in the historical development of these two geographically distant countries. His work has provoked questions as to the reasons for these affinities, particularly regarding the issue of racial injustice. Moreover, his work has pointed out the methodological benefits of comparison, of moving beyond national perspectives to place topics in a global perspective in order to re-contextualize and understand them anew.
The purpose of this curriculum unit is to place South Africa's history in a world historical perspective. Although this unit cannot provide a comprehensive analysis of South Africa's place in the world, it does intend to provide an introductory framework by exploring the broad themes of settlement, economic development, and political development. With these themes, teachers and students will arrive at a basic understanding of South Africa's history and will be able to make comparisons with other parts of Africa and the world.
This unit can be used in high school classes of world geography, history, or culture. It is specifically designed to conform to the National History Standards set in 1996 for high school students studying world history. Important to emphasize is the introductory nature of this curriculum module. This unit is intended to be flexible enough to help those teachers who seek a basic framework to teach South Africa's history exclusively, as well as those who seek to incorporate South Africa's history into a pre-existing curriculum.
To address the above themes, the unit is divided into three lessons. A combination of lecture outlines, handouts, and small group activities is provided for each. The lecture outlines provide a thematic narrative of facts, issues, and discussion questions to help teachers organize class time. Handouts are provided so that students can follow the more important issues and topics in each lesson. A timeline, historical background handouts, and a glossary of historical terms and concepts are provided at the end of this Unit Introduction as reference materials for both teachers and students to further reinforce the history and concepts discussed in the lessons.
Multimedia and small group activities are the key part of learning in this module. For Lesson One, map transparencies focus on the early settlement of both African societies and European colonists and the eventual geographic demarcation of contemporary South Africa. In Lesson Two, a small group activity involving the 20th-century legislation underscores how racial injustice was sanctioned by the South African government before and during the apartheid era. For Lesson Three, a video of South African political posters illustrates the spectrum of political strategies that existed during the 20th century to counter policies of racial discrimination. After students interpret the visual content of these posters, a political poster-making activity allows students to engage in the issues that South Africans face today, specifically the difficulties of creating and maintaining a multiracial democracy and closing the gap between rich and poor. In addition to these materials, a small group activity on forms of political resistance and a readers' theater are included. Overall in this unit, media materials and small group activities are intended to generate further class discussion about historical and current social issues and their effects on daily experience.
Supplementary materials for both students and teacher can be used to extend the unit. Suggested materials are listed in the appendix. The extent to which these themes are elaborated is left to the individual teacher.
The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to the historical origins of contemporary South Africa. This will be done through an episodic historical examination of the region. Although the unit deals mainly with South Africa's history, it will nevertheless prepare students to make broader conceptualizations regarding historical change in other parts of Africa and the world, particularly former colonies.