With thanks to our project collaborator, Dr Natasha Robinson, we share this podcast, part of the series Confronting Controversial History recorded for the Historical Association which explores the history of apartheid in South Africa and how this history is taught in schools in England. Dr Natasha Robinson is a Post-Doctoral Research Officer at the University of Oxford, Department of Education. She researches the teaching of controversial or sensitive histories, with a particular interest in how the history of apartheid is taught within the South African context. She has extensive experience in working with historians to develop learning materials for teachers and students.
As described on the Historical Association site:
In this podcast Natasha Robinson explores the history of apartheid in South Africa, and how this history is taught in England. Although apartheid is included in some exam board specifications, it is not a topic that many schools teach. However the Rhodes Must Fall and Black Lives Matter movements have sparked a renewed interest in histories of race and protest. In doing so they have raised uncomfortable questions about the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the role of violence in achieving democracy, and Britain’s complicity in supporting racial segregation.

To help think through some of these uncomfortable questions, Natasha speaks to Professor William Beinart, a historian of South Africa and founder of the African Studies Centre at St. Antony’s College Oxford. And to Ciara McCombe, a history and politics teacher in Northwest London. She has recently returned from a sabbatical at Arizona State University where she was researching the importance of anti-racism in curriculum and pedagogy after being awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Education. Together they explore what makes this history controversial, and how to navigate some of the sensitivities that teachers might experience. 

Listen to the Podcast