The quest for inclusive and transformative approaches to the history curriculum in Botswana
History has the potential to unify and is often used to inculcate a sense of national identity to foster nation-building. However, this objective can prove difficult to achieve because of the tendency for nations to politicise historical narratives. In Botswana, assimilationist policies have historically privileged the ethnic Tswana historical memory whilst submerging identities and historical experiences of a number of Botswana ethnic minorities. Moreover, the pervasive authoritative national ‘epic’ narratives curtail development of an authentic and empowered historical consciousness, as the latter is premised upon interpretive and dialogic interactions. This paper argues for historical education that is based on negotiated, mutualist, and inclusive approaches. It foregrounds regional particularisation to enable the unearthing and integration of diverse historical narratives to foster civic identity and the necessary preconditions for a shared sense of national identity.
National identity, Civic identity, Nation-building, History education, Historical consciousness, Inclusive history, Botswana, Batsawana
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Published 6 May 2021
Double Blind Peer Reviewed
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