Black African parents' narratives on apartheid schooling and school history




Apartheid, Education, Narrative inquiry, School history, Parenting


This paper was motivated by the anecdotal experiences of the lead author on the views of middle-class Black African parents who did their schooling under apartheid and who were parents of high school learners in contemporary post-apartheid South Africa. In this paper narrative inquiry was used to engage with ten purposively selected Black African parents. In the process their narratives of schooling under apartheid and the parental choices they made on the subjects their children studied were constructed. As a theoretical lens Critical Race Theory was used to allow the parents to tell their counter-stories. These parents were adamant that their children should not study history. This was partially rooted in their own apartheid-era schooling experiences. For the most part the Black African parents tried to live their unfulfilled dreams and ambitions through their children by getting them to study science and mathematics as this was directly linked to upward-mobility, middle-classness, prosperity and success. While school history in the post-apartheid context was lauded and appreciated, the prevailing sentiment was that their children should steer clear of it.


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How to Cite

Langa, M., Wassermann, J., & Maposa, M. (2021). Black African parents’ narratives on apartheid schooling and school history . Perspectives in Education, 39(3), 3-16.



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