LEARNING HISTORY: BORING FACT MEMORISING OR EXCITING FACT GENERATION?
University of Mpumalanga (SOUTH AFRICA)
Constructivist learning theories have not been adopted by many tertiary-level educators. One of the neglected areas of study in the application of the constructivist theory is that of History teaching and learning. This study therefore contributes to the literature on the constructivist learning approach and its application in the field of history teaching and learning. The research question is: how applicable might the constructivist approach be to History teaching and specifically History teaching in a post-Apartheid era in South Africa? This paper is based on the case of a first year South African Economic History class at a university in South Africa. It was found that different learning theories may be applicable to some extent, but the constructivist theory seems to address higher-order learning outcomes, such as critical thinking and interpretation, more effectively. The constructivist approach of teaching and learning, due to the students’ own discovery of knowledge, contributed to the learning of South African Economic History that was free from influences of biased written content and free from political influences.