Can old history textbooks be used to promote the new democratic ideals in the curriculum 2005?

Mashiyi, L N
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Can old history text books (written in the Apartheid Era) be used to promote the new democratic ideals in Curriculum 2005? This investigation addresses this question through an analysis of selected chapters of two history text books presently used in Katlehong schools. The analysis deploys an instrument developed at the University of Belgrade by members of the Democracy Education Project, in conjunction with the project team from the University of the Witwatersrand. Through the instrument, the democratic content of the textbooks was analysed and assessed. The analysis focus on declarative, elaborated and implied democratic content. The conceptual framework for the investigation draws from recent philosophical and sociological work on democracy. Amy Gutmann’s principles of non-repression and nondiscrimination, for example, provide the main argument for the necessity of equal and critical education in South Africa. The analysis and discussion show both text as deeply floored regarding the availability and nature of the democratic concepts. However, if used by critical teachers both texts are suitable for promoting democracy in South Africa.