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The purpose of this report is to recommend the development of a short course aimed at preparing high school juniors and seniors and Africana Studies undergraduate and graduate students for leadership in Afrikan continental and Diaspora nation-building.
Africana Studies has always had a strong activist orientation aimed in the words of Nathan Hare at providing solutions to “…the problems of the race.” In order to do this a revolutionary type of Afrikan must be produced; one who is “…capable of solving problems of a contagious American society.” With such a focus Africana Studies maintains its relevancy for as Hare states, “…a Black education which is not revolutionary in the current day is both irrelevant and useless.1”
Nathan Hare, “What Should be the Role of Afro-American Education in the Undergraduate Curriculum?” Liberal Education, 55, 1 (March, 1969) pp. 42-50.;
While a perusal of Africana Studies programs across the nation show a multitude of courses centered on the cultures, history, languages, and geography of the civilizations of Afrika in keeping with a portion of the mandate set for itself by Africana Studies at its inception and the existence of community outreach programs in some shape and form, there is a dearth of courses which emphasize the preparation of future leaders with the large scale problem solving skills necessary to provide comprehensive solutions to the problems of the global Afrikan population. Comprehensive problem solving skills are generally emphasized in the state management disciplines of Public Policy and Public Administration the language of both being Macro and Micro-economic analysis and Strategic Planning & Management; disciplines which have yet to be grafted onto the periphery of Africana Studies, let alone incorporated into the disciplinary core. The myriad problems faced by the Afrikans of the Diaspora and the Continent require leaders be prepared who are well versed not only in the culture, history, languages, and geography of Afrikan and Diaspora Civilizations but also skilled in conflict resolution, strategic planning and management, city planning, public administration, economics, entreprenuership and nation-building ethics that the
Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2002) pp. 17.
definition of the discipline as offered by Nathan Hare may be fully realized. It is to this end that the proposed recommendation is made.
This report provides an overview of the Instructional Methodology of the short course and Session Topics.
Viewing free sound inquiry as the foundation of democratic living, this methodology has the established objective of producing effective professionals and scholars.2 This will be achieved while providing students with the highest level of academic knowledge in the midst of instilling the attributes of diligence and persistence. It is my intention to accomplish this through sound systematic teaching methods3.
Jacob H. Carruthers, MDW NTR: Divine Speech A Historiographical Reflection of African Deep Thought From The Time of the Pharaohs to the Present (Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press, 1997)
John Dewey, Democracy and Education An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (New York: MacMillan Co., 1916) pp. 211. “Method is a statement of the way the subject matter of an experience develops most effectively and fruitfully. It
As such, to ensure students will receive the analytical foundations necessary to become successful in future national, economic, community professional or academic pursuits, as well as in civic and social settings, the instructional methods are drawn from problem-based and cooperative learning theory. With these methods, students can be developed into positive contributors to the global community. The methods fall under the rubric of Analytical and Conceptual Methodology, Self-reflective Evaluative Methodology, Experiential/Experimental Methodology, and Integrative Synthesis Methodology. These methodologies of instruction are balanced with a strong lecture and student centered discussion model. Thereby allowing for adequate student participation in the intellectual stimuli of the educational process with synthesis and guidance of diverse responses and ideas taking place under my guidance. Moreover, the learning experience is enhanced through the use of the latest instructional
is derived, accordingly from observation of the course of experiences where there is no conscious distinction of personal attitude and manner from material dealt with. The assumption that method is something separate is connected with the notion of the isolation of mind and self from the world of things. It makes instruction a learning formal, mechanical, constrained. While methods are individualized, certain features of the normal course of an experience to its fruition may be constrained. While methods are individualized, certain features of the normal course of an experience to its fruition may be discriminated, because of the fund of wisdom derived from prior experiences and because of general similarities in the materials dealt with from time to time. Expressed in terms of attitude of the individual the traits of good method are straightforwardness, flexible intellectual interest or open minded will to learn, integrity of purpose, and acceptance of responsibility for the consequences of one'’ activity including thought.”
media technologies. These include but are not limited to nonprojected visuals such as models, pictures, and field trips; projected visuals; audio media; computers, interactive video, television and DVDs4. The analytical and conceptual methodology is centered on theory and practice-guided reading materials. The intention here is to improve student literacy through a variety of literacy strategies designed to “…assist students in mastering vocabulary, comprehending difficult texts, studying, and evaluating what they read.5” These strategies will be carried out with my being aware of the social context in which the instruction will take place. Literacy is more than just reading, it is comprehension of materials within a historical and social context6. If words are read within a void absent historical and social context then a degree of illiteracy still exists. The instructional methodology that I use takes this into account. This methodology is applicable to all areas of instruction and amenable to all content areas.
Robert Heinich, Michael Molenda, and James D. Russell, Instructional Media and the New Technologies of Instruction (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company,1993)
John E. Readence, Thomas W. Bean and R. Scott Baldwin, Content Area Literacy An Integrated Approach (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1995) pp.9.
Ibid. pp. 5-9.
The self-reflective evaluative methodology uses journal entries, case study analysis, and socio-philosophical quotes to assist the learner in the self -development. To do so this methodology guides the learner in developing a multidisciplinary view of himself and his surroundings. The skills emphasized include critical self-analysis evaluation and reformation. A socio-historical paradigm is presented which includes all areas of learning. The following diagram provides an illustration7.
Broad Concept of Environment
Concepts & Perceptions
Decision-Making & Social Action Focused
A Process of Self Development
The self-reflective evaluative methodology as illustrated places the student at the center the self-development process. The student approaches his development from an interdisciplinary perspective. In particular the student is guided in applying various concepts to his own
James A. Banks, Teaching Strategies For Ethnic Studies (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1987) pp. 52-53 This model is an adaptation of Banks model of an effective multiethnic curriculum.
development of perceptions of his or her-self and the world around them. Including historical and contemporary world cultural experiences into the process of self-development further broadens the student’s conceptualization. Each is considered in a comparative analysis considering the similarities and differences and evaluating utility. Along with self-development, the student is expected to manifest improved decision-making skills and a renewed interest in social, community and national action. The experiential/experimental methodology approaches the learning endeavor through the use of group project simulations of ancient and contemporary real world scenarios. The use of both past and present scenarios will enhance the student’s ability to identify similarities and differences through the use of such reasoning strategies as comparing, classifying, creating metaphors, and creating analogies. Integrated within this approach is the student’s use of graphic organizers as well as stimulation of other right brain thought process. This method also incorporates cooperative learning strategies. Cooperative learning strategies allow for a serious active learning endeavor, which utilizes the whole person in the process of learning. The student in the group scenario will engage in collaborative, team and problem-based learning tasks each designed
to improve individual and group oriented working skills. This methodology is of importance as it allows the student to gain hands on understanding of interdependence, human contact skills in a working environment, personal responsibility and self-accountability, and serious self-reflection, within the group setting, which allows for comparative assessment as well. The integrative synthesis methodology makes use of policy research projects. These projects will be public policy oriented which means inclusive of social policy, community improvement policy, economic/business policy, educational policy, and health policy. All of these are components of Nation-Building-infrastructure development or redevelopment, social institution formation or reformation and economic development or redevelopment to name just a few. Below is an example of the type of models employed within the integrative synthesis methodology. Problem Solution Model8 1) Problem Identification & Definition A. Identify & define the Problem: substantiate that a problem does in fact exist. B. Determine whose Affected by the problem.
Clarke E. Cochran, Lawrence C. May, T. R. Carr and N. Joseph Cayer, American Public Policy An Introduction (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993); Thomas R. Dye, Understanding Public Policy (Upper Saddle, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998); James E. Anderson, Public Policymaking (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997)
1. Stakeholders 2. Actors (Government institutions, media, interest groups, and community residents) C. What’s been done thus far to solve the problem (existing policies, these may be government policies or private policies initiated by community activist/interest groups, etc.) 2) Goals A. Define Alternatives (Include Existing Policy) The alternatives are possible solutions to the problem. B. Relevant Criteria to be considered: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Political Feasibility Economic Feasibility Social/Cultural Feasibility Administrative Feasibility Technical Feasibility Other possible feasible concerns: political realities, the cost and benefits associated with the alternative and time constraints.
3) Selection A. Choose a single or multiple alternatives to solve the problem. The solution choice or choices will be influenced by the best choice; short and long-term characteristics associated with the solutions and the amount of time to implement and then evaluate it to see if it has worked. 4) Implementation A. The enactment of the solution. Implementations are influenced by discretion, the clientele to be served or helped and time itself, along with other social and economic realities.
5) Adjudication Determine the legality of the solution proposal. Does it violate any civil or moral law? Is it a bad policy? Is what is being done meeting what the solution proposed to do? 6) Evaluation A. Did it Work? B. Is there a cheaper more effective way to solve the problem and get the same or better results? 7) Decision A. Maintain the policy. B. Modify the policy. C. Terminate (and find a new solution) because the policy failed or problem ended.
In the interest of developing an academic atmosphere where students can participate in the search for answers to the vexing problems of the subject matter and their individual and collective lives, each class period where the Integrative Synthesis Methodology is employed will begin with a lecture. The lecture will be followed by a discussion of relevant concepts and methods followed by the practical application of concepts and methods to problem situations drawn from
historical and contemporary local, state, national and international media sources. The practical application occurs within small groupsgroup projects, allowing students to gain experience with cooperative work, which is useful to all future endeavors. The group work will also provide opportunities for the student to practice combining a variety of perspectives and skills to solve problems, thereby reinforcing the spirit of synthesis, integration and compromise. Case studies will include computer laboratory sessions that will provide the students with further learning opportunities with relevant electronic information sources, while improving their skills with technology. Each session will conclude with an informal summary of group progress on projects, and self-reflection on learning. This student reflection will be recorded in the student’s journal. Under the integrative synthesis methodology the objective will include getting the students to understand the socio-historical and cultural determinants of problems and its major issues and relationships to their daily lives.
1. Afrikan Conflict Resolution: Strategic Management and Mitigation 2. Afrikan Economic Policy and Institutions: Delinking, Integration, and Continental/Diaspora Development 3. Afrikan Continental & Diaspora Education: System Design Instead of System Improvement [System Design- A creative process that questions the assumptions on which old forms have been built. It requires a completely new outlook and approach in order to produce innovative solutions. The perspective grows out of the Systems Paradigm. It is extrospective- its proceeds from an understanding of the super-ordinate system outward; System Improvement- based on introspection- start inward from the system to its elements and reason that the solution lies within its boundaries. This offers limited choices and looks for causes of malfunctions within system boundaries. Tends to justify systems as ends in themselves without considering that a system exists only to satisfy the requirements of larger systems in which it is itself included]
4. Afrikan Agriculture & Agribusiness 5. Afrikan Legal & Institutional Reform 6. Afrikan Financial Sector Reform 7. Which Way Afrika: Privatization, Public Management or Communalism 8. Afrikan Domestic/International Trade & Investment
9. Afrikan Micro-Enterprise Development 10. Afrikan Enterprise Development & Competitiveness 11. Afrikan Environmental Policy, Planning, & Management 12. Afrikan Natural Resource Management 13. Afrikan Community & Economic Development 14. Afrikan Job creation 15. Afrikan Urban & Regional Planning 16. Afrocentric Democracy & Governance: Election Assistance, Political Party Development, Human Rights, Administration of Justice, Local Government and Legislative Development, Incorporating Traditional Institutions and Socio-Civil Society Strengthening 17. Afrikan Infrastructure Development 18. Afrikan Rural Economic Advancement 19. Afrikan Village Level Development 20. Afrikan Organization Design, Behavior, & Change
21. Afrikan Public Administration: Introduction to the basic functions of city administration emphasizing the peculiarities of the Afrikan Neocolonial experience; and integration of traditional and rural administrative
institutions. Focus on how to organize/reorganize Departments of Public Works & Health Management so as to either, establish, fix or maintain basic city services. Discussion of efficient and effective methods for organizing/reorganizing Afrikan local economies to support ethically based production, transport, and consumption of goods and services. 22. Afrikan City Planning
23. Economic Analysis Applied to Afrika & the Diaspora
24. Afrikan Ethics
25. Afrikan Continental/Diaspora Entrepreneurship: Emphasizing Creativity, Organization & Marketing Techniques in Afrikan Business Development. A. Entrepreneurship Skill Assessment B. Identifying Business Opportunities & Goal Setting C. Business Plan Development D. Assessing Market Needs E. Financial Plan Development F. Business Location G. Marketing: Product, Distribution, Price, SWOT H. Personnel Management I. Record Keeping & Financial Management J. Technology K. Business Growth: Assessing Afrikan Needs & Global Trends
26. Applied General Systems Theory: The Afrikan Public Setting
27. Critical & Creative Thought
28. Strategic Planning & Management
29. Afrikan Indigenous Institutions: Pre-Colonial Social Systems, Legal Institutions, Political Institutions, Kingdoms, Government in Afrikan Empires, Economic Systems, Colonial Era, Neo-Colonial Era
30. Hunger in the Afrikan Context: Types of Hunger, Solutions
31. Corporate Planning
32. Afrika & The International Trade Regime: Structural Conflict
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