A Summer Two-Week teacher Curriculum Development Seminar on Africa
Why Study Africa History?
In identifying African History as the focus of this project, we chose a subject that lends itself to robust academic inquiry and the type of teachers/faculty curriculum development the Center for International and African Studies Outreach (CIASO) of the American Institute for Resource and Human Development (AIRHD), Inc. seeks to provide.
History is a subject of great importance across the humanities, connecting prominently in disciplines as diverse as Geography, Economy, Diversity, Religion, Philosophy, and Literature, and will hence provide an object of reflection and learning with application in a broad variety of disciplines.
Consequently, the project will promote the infusion of knowledge, derived from African Studies; into the curriculum; will legitimize the pursuit of non- Western knowledge in the main stream of
teacher and student experiences; and finally, will create a model for adoption by other area studies and interdisciplinary programs.
This approach is designed to engage participants in the discovery of the Diversity of Africa.
Purpose: This first module will introduce the students to Africa in a systematic manner which convinces them of the need for studying the continent.
In this session, participants will learn about African diversity, the richness of African history, Africa and the world and the role of stereotype.
Diversity of Africa: Africa, the second largest continent in the world, is a very diverse continent. This diversity is articulated in its physical geography and climate; in its plurality of cultures, traditions, beliefs, values, religions, and artistic expressions; in its many modes of economic production, distribution, and consumption; in its diverse social and political structures and practices.
Africa Its Rich History: Africa has a dynamic history-Africa was the birthplace of human societies; it has been home to many great civilizations; its history has been shaped by contact with others through great migrations, wars, slavery, colonialism, the Cold War, and the waxing and waning of state systems.
Africa in Global Economy: For millennia, Africa has interacted with the outside world. This interaction has facilitated many African contributions and exports to the world, such as agricultural products, minerals and other material goods, as well as knowledge and cultural expressions. This interaction has also allowed African societies to benefit from imports from the outside world, such as information and other technologies.
Special emphasis will be given to Africa’s contributions to and trade with North America.
Misrepresentations and Stereotypes of Africa: popular images of Africa held by Americans are based on stereotypes which offer fragmented, often inaccurate images of Africa. Throughout the prepared curriculum, we will be purposefully confronting stereotypes and misrepresentations of Africa that are popularly held by many academia in America.
Major Questions to Address:
- What do we know about Africa?
- What more do we need to know and learn about Africa?
- Why do we need to study and learn more about Africa
Learning Objectives After the Completion of this Section, Participants will be able to:
- Discover their current impressions and ideas about Africa through visual and writing exercises, individually and team
- Discuss the accuracy and inaccuracy of their impressions
- Talk about what they would like to know and learn about Africa