History and Government: What are the types of history syllabi?


4 a iii). Examine the types of history syllabus

Types of history syllabus

There are different types of history syllabus, for example, thematic, chronological, the line of development, the patch and spiral among others (Thompson: 1972).

Thematic approach to a history syllabus is where the history course of study revolves around themes at various levels of learning. It consists of periodisirig by themes rather than time. It takes a theme or concept such as democracy and studies two or three examples of it. This approach, which is systematic inits approach but topical, was First advanced by Professor Barraclough in “Introduction to Contemporary History” (1967). Thematic approach to the study of history is important because it gives a greater coherence to the syllabus and presents a more interesting and intellectual type of history to the adolescents by making connections with present day problems; making history more relevant to the learners.

Chronological approach to history syllabus is whereby the syllabus insists on chronological order of studying history. It believes in an evolutionary concept of history where history is seen as the story of how the present grew up or developed. History is studied from its origins up to the present day. The advocates of this approach argue that historical thinking is based on time element, order and a continuous past.

Line of development approach was originally advanced by Professor M.VC. Jeffreys. It takes different aspects of life in the past and traces their development in a series of separate studies. Topics such as urbanization, transport, communication and trade could be studied through the ages. The essential basis of this syllabus is that different aspects of people’s Jife are studied chronologically but in isolation from ancient past to present.

Patch approach to syllabus design was advocated by Carpenter and Margaret Byrant(1972). The approach takes a very limited period of history and studies it in detail, depth and in ail aspects of life depending on the age, understanding and imaginative powers of learners. It advocates for the study of selected and much shorter periods, which are not continuous and which need not be in chronological order,

In a spiral syllabus, the course of study is systematic but repetitive at all grades or levels of learning in the cycle of education. This means that what is taught in Form One, is repeated in Form Two, Three and Four, but at a higher level.

Whichever approach is adopted in designing a history syllabus, one should be guided bv: the concepts of what history is; the nature of history; the aims of teaching history; systematic development of historical thinking and appropriateness of the syllabus in relation to learners ability.



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