Nkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Competition 2007

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2007 Competition report

  1. Work still needs to be done to ensure that the competition is fully integrated into the curriculum.  It appears that many teachers are viewing the competition as a separate activity and appear to only gear up for it rather late in the teaching year. The topics set should include local history topics so that the "competition" is based on the oral history projects that the students do as part of the curriculum and that the national competition is a culmination of an existing classroom project. It is important to use the competition format to include those students who do not take history as a subject.
  2. The provincial process should also include a workshop session with teachers to ensure that teachers have a clear understanding of what is required in oral history research.
  3. It is unfortunate that some good presentations fell short because a relatively minor point had been overlooked. 

Some examples are:

  • A single interview is not enough for this competition.
  • Learners must present individually. No group entries will be accepted.
  • Using a parent or grandparent should be avoided, as objectivity becomes impossible to attain.
  • Transcriptions of interviews are expected.
  • Raw data should not be brought into the final presentation.  This includes unedited videos of interviews.
  • Presentations should never rely totally on a power point or DVD.  These should be used only as auxiliaries that enhance the main presentation.
  • Advice and suggestions arising from the provincial competition should be incorporated into the presentation before coming to the national competition.
  • More emphasis should be put on contextualising evidence ie explaining the historical context in terms of time and place.
  • Sources that are used need to be made very clear.
  • The importance of clearly focusing on a central theme from the choice of themes during a presentation needs to be stressed. Entries will not be accepted if they do not cover one of the themes.
  • Reflections on the insights gained by learners as they move through their projects are a valued contribution.
  • Attention to objectivity is useful; information can be presented as a debate.
  • The adjudication of teachers could be assisted if they were asked to share not only their best learners' outputs, but also examples of poor and medium level learners' work.  This would give an indication of their overall effectiveness in teaching oral history.

Last updated : 17-Feb-2012

This article was produced by South African History Online on 31-Mar-2011

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