Being rooted and living globally : A critical approach to the (re)presentation of history in Social and Modern Studies textbooks

Jackman, Evelyne and Budd, Richard (2022) Being rooted and living globally : A critical approach to the (re)presentation of history in Social and Modern Studies textbooks. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This research engages with history curriculum in the Social and Modern Studies (SMS) school textbooks in Mauritius as part of the Nine Year Continuous Basic Education (NYCBE) reform that was introduced in January 2017. I will examine the inclusion of an alternative narrative moving away from a colonial-centric education as a structured attempt (Sternhouse,1975) to investigate how history is (re)presented in the Social and Modern Studies (SMS) textbooks. This research situates the dominant discourses in the teaching of history within a postcolonial and decolonial dialogue (Bhambra 2014) in juxtaposition with critical literacy. This theoretical commitment and philosophical assumption engage with history as they challenge the inheritances of the imperial institution. I argue how we think and engage with the history is marked by our colonial past (Mazama 2003; Wane 2008) that continues to have an impact on present-day practices. I examine how history teaching ought to disrupt the process of coloniality (Maldonado Torres 2016) by confronting stories of tragedy and oppression, of imperialism and colonisation, to reconstruct alternative stories of strength and resilience. Drawing of these theoretical intersections, history is explored conceptually and reflected empirically with Fairclough’s (1992) three-dimensional model of critical discourse analysis. By using a critical discourse analysis as a method of analysis to critically engage with the meaning systems embedded within the text, this research recognizes the subaltern voices and reinstates the possibilities for recognition (Fukuyama 2018). This thesis advocates a liberating perspective (Wa Thiong’O 1986) to decolonise historical knowledge and imagine alternative possibilities in an era of global interconnectedness. The findings indicate how the new historical narrative nurtures specific dispositions as part of a neoliberal agenda that affirms a colonial subtext. I offer an alternative way of reading history with strategies to cultivate a space for historical understanding for students to become creators and owners of their own history.

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Thesis (PhD)
?? language constructionhistorical understandingdecolonisationpost-colonialism ??
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30 May 2022 10:20
Last Modified:
06 Jun 2024 23:51