Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Published by the School of Basic Sciences, the Vaal Triangle Faculty of the North–West University in South Africa in conjunction with The South African Society for History Teaching (SASHT), Yesterday & Today is an open–access journal offering research in history teaching, “where research related findings are applied to improve the teaching of History.” The focus is on the teaching of African and South African history, “although research regarding international trends and debates in the field of history teaching are also accommodated.” One of the journal’s aims is to “encourage the development of history as a school subject and aims to involve historians, methodologists, educationists, history teachers and learners.” Previous titles of the journal include Historia Junior (South Africa) (1956–1980), Gister en Vandag: Tydskrif vir Geskiedenisonderrig (1981-2005), and in 2006 the journal became Yesterday & Today. The preponderance of the editorial board is from South African high schools and universities, and articles are published in English in July and December (the search platform is viewable in Spanish and Portuguese as well as in English).
Issues typically include an Editorial, several Articles characterized as “scientific research,” several Hands-On Articles, and a couple Book Reviews of books presumably of interest to the readership. The most recent issue of Yesterday & Today available at the time of this review, n.17, July 2017, includes an editorial by Dr. Pieter Warnich, editor-in-chief, that essentially summarizes the content of the issue; seven research articles (“The effect of multimedia use on the teaching and learning of Social Sciences at tertiary level: a case study,” “The impact of social media on History education: a view from England,” “Student protest and the culture of violence at African universities: An inherited ideological trait,” “"Word generation" and skills around learning and teaching History,” “Underperformance in Social Studies in Grades 5-7 in Namibian primary schools: a case study,” “Learners' encounter with archaeological fieldwork: a public participation archaeology account of the East Fort Archaeological Project,” and “Contemporary relevance - a category of historical science and of the didactics of history and its consequences in teacher training”; two hands-on articles: “Nostalgia, memory and History teaching and learning” and “Crossing the "chalkboard-keyboard-divide" on a shoestring budget”; and book reviews of A Jacana pocket history - Poverty in South Africa: past and present and The art of life in South Africa.
The quality of the research here is overall quite good, and the writing is academic and accessible, except in the book reviews, which read as though translated by an automatic online translator. Although the focus of the journal is very niche, applying mainly to research in history teaching in Africa, authors incorporate theory and concepts of interest and applicability to a broader education audience, as well. Worth bringing to the attention of history teachers around the world.