At a time that history has gained its place in Ghana’s basic school curriculum, considerable differences of opinion arise, not about the subject’s significance in the school curriculum but concerning the legitimacy of the subject title - that is, whether or not the subject should be referenced ‘History of Ghana’ or ‘Heritage of Ghana’. The different opinions reflect Lowenthal’s (1998) observation that history and heritage are separate disciplines. However, the two subjects are often used interchangeably (Mermion, 2012) and “are habitually confused with each other” (Lowenthal 1998, p. x). While expert academics may be at ease with the distinctions between the two, non-experts may not explicitly understand the nuances (Mermion, 2012) inherent in these two concepts. Therefore, in this paper, an attempt is made to provide a scholarly distinction between both disciplines to interrogate whether Ghana’s primary school history curriculum should be referenced as history or heritage. In addressing that, an analysis of the curriculum is done within the framework provided in the paper. The analysis established that history and heritage should be understood as different and clearly distinguishable disciplines and there is no need for both disciplines to be confused with each other or seen as synonymous. It has also been established that while history forms an integral tool through which heritage is communicated and sustained, the current form and content of the Ghanaian primary school curriculum is more heritage than history due to the material as well as non-material emphasis of the content of the curriculum. The paper, therefore, concludes with a call to rename the current curriculum, ‘History of Ghana curriculum for primary schools’ as ‘Heritage of Ghana curriculum for primary schools’.
Oppong, Charles Adabo
"HISTORY OR HERITAGE? AN ANALYSIS OF GHANA’S PRIMARY SCHOOL HISTORY CURRICULUM,"
The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies: Vol. 83:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://thekeep.eiu.edu/the_councilor/vol83/iss1/1
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