On 29 and 30 September 2022, lecturer Adrienne van As and student Waseemah Arendse attended and presented at the 34th annual SASHT (South Africa Society for History Teaching) conference, held in Genadendal in the Western Cape. The conference’s theme was teaching History beyond the formal curriculum. This year, the conference was organized by the University of Stellenbosch in collaboration with the Robben Island Museum and the Genadendal Museum.
Genadendal, founded in 1738, is the oldest Moravian mission village in South Africa and is known for its spiritual, cultural and educational heritage. Genadendal also hosted the first teachers’ training college in South Africa. To visit Genadendal’s village square is to journey back in time. It boasts an old watermill and a fascinating museum that gives visitors insight into life in Genadendal over the centuries. In addition, there are 25 national monuments in and around the village square.
TOGI Student, Waseemah Arendse
Waseemah, a BEd student who completed her studies in June 2022, reflected on Primary History Education, looking back and looking forward. In this presentation, she worked closely with Mechall Abrahams, a fellow student. Unfortunately, Mechall was not able to attend the conference. It is a hands-on report highlighting their experiences during Teaching Practice (Work-Integrated Learning) and observing the teaching history disparities.
When asked about the conference and her experiences attending and presenting, Waseemah stated, “The SASHT conference and being able to attend and present at it was both an amazing and daunting experience. I was privileged to engage and speak to the authors of papers I have cited for my submissions during my studies at the Two Oceans Graduate Institute. I was exposed to various opinions, research and methodologies people have used to understand how History is being taught today and how it can be taught in the future. It was a privilege to be able to recall and share my own experiences with an audience of such stature, knowledge and expertise. I have also learnt plenty about other methodologies, approaches and strategies that can be used in the classroom”.
Adrienne’s Presentation at the SASHT
Adrienne presented a section of her PhD dissertation on transactional and History distances in History Education. Since it is an autoethnography study, in this presentation, she focused on all the places she visited, especially as a child, that influenced the various distances. This is one of the metaphorical cabinets of curiosity that forms part of her journey as a student and educator in History Education.
Key Note Addresses at the SASHT
To note are the two keynote addresses: Prof Howard Phillips from UCT presented on the intersection of the global, national and local History of the Spanish Flu Pandemic (“Black October”) of 1918 in South Africa. In turn, Honorary Professor Gertrude Fester- Wicomb from the Centre for African Studies focused on how the struggle continues through the creative work of descendants of the First Nations and how the creative work is used to promote the exploration of identity issues and highlight the First Nation’s culture and History. Toa Tama !Khams Ge.
Congratulations two both women and thank you for representing Two Oceans Graduate Institute well.