03 June 2012

Wits History Workshop seminar - 'Teaching Race'

Wits History Workshop will be hosting a one-day workshop for history educators on the topic - ‘TEACHING RACE'

Keynote speaker Professor Zimitri Erasmus is a professor in Sociology and has written extensively on race. Her book, Coloured By History, Shaped By Place: Perspective on Coloured Identities in the Cape, remains one of the most important contribution on the debate about race.

DATE: Saturday 28 July 2012
TIME: 8:30am - 15:00pm
VENUE: The Origins Centre, Wits University (East Campus)
COST: There will be no cost. A light lunch will be served.
RSVP: by 9 July (LATEST): Contact Zahn Gowar (office) 011- 7174291 / (Zahn.Gowar@wits.ac.za) or alternatively
Andrea Johnson (andreaj100@gmail.com)

In the course of the one-day workshop we will be tackling issues surrounding the teaching of the concept of ‘race' in South African schools. Even though it is known that ‘race' is a social construct without any scientific basis, its effects continue to persist and be experienced by many in society.

The workshop aims, in a variety of interactive ways, to tackle the question of how race has and continues to be socially constructed. Part of the workshop will include working through a selection new sources of material relevant to the high school teaching environment. We will also go on a guided tour of the Origins Museum, where the focus will be on scientific evidence of common origins.

This links with the recent CAPS, 2011, Senior Phase History, Grade 9 syllabus, where educators are meant to examine topics such as ‘human evolution and our common ancestry' as well as ‘apartheid and the myth of race'. It also ties in with the current Grade 11 syllabus where the topic ‘Ideas of Race in the late 19th and 20th Century' is being looked at. This tries to address the key question, ‘What were the consequences when pseudo-scientific ideas of Race became integral to government policies?'

The day promises to be interesting, stimulating and a wonderful opportunity for educators to engage with each other as well as relevant material.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Text provided by workshop organisers.