Local history teaching in the Overberg region of the Western Cape: The case of the Elim Primary School.
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The problem of this study deals with the indifference of the Grade 8 learners of the Elim Primary School towards school History, and its relevance to their everyday lives. The following research question was formulated: What can the Social Sciences teachers at the Elim Primary School do differently to make the subject more relevant and interesting to the Grade 8 learners? It was concluded that the learners had to be more actively involved in the local history of their region. To this end, a series of four local history lessons with as topic Heritage – The village of Elim: past and present was designed and implemented. The lessons were mainly for enrichment purposes, linked to Heritage Day of 24 September, and to create interest in and enjoyment of the study of history. The research design was a qualitative single case study of the Elim Primary School’s visit to a local heritage site, the Elim Moravian Mission Town. It was a detailed explanatory narrative of the mechanics of a local history teaching strategy – two classroom lessons and two fieldtrips to the heritage site concluded by a feedback, reflection and assessment session in the classroom. The hands-on personal experience of the Grade 8 Social Sciences learners as young historians was illustrated by means of seven images which included images of the material sources and relics and the learners doing history as young historians. The case study resulted in step-by-step guidelines for the preparation and implementation of a local history teaching strategy. The historical imagination of the learners was also operationalised.