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George Clement Bond Center for African Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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George Clement Bond Center for African Education

Projects > Teaching Africa Series

Teaching Africa Series

The Teaching Africa Series, Volume 1

Teaching West Africa: A Reference Text for Public School Educators

Edited by George C. Bond, Monisha Bajaj & the Center for African Education

Work is currently well underway on the first phase of the exciting Teaching Africa Series, a set of regionally based volumes on West, North, East and Southern Africa. This Series, funded primarily through the TC Provost’s Investment Fund and Columbia University’s Center for International Business Education Research (CIBER), represents the Center for African Education’s commitment to connecting with the greater New York City community, in keeping with the Teachers College vision “to bring educational opportunities to all members of society”.  It aims to provide information and guidance to educators who wish to incorporate Africa in the classroom or who serve students who have recently immigrated to the United States from the continent. The first volume focuses on West Africa as the number of students of West African origin in NYC schools is increasing and there is a general lack of resources on how to include these students in the classroom, and on teaching Africa in general. This initiative targets NYC public school educators, aiming to provide them with training, support and guidance, which we believe will improve outcomes for West African students.

The Center for African Education conducted a series of focus groups with NYC public school teachers in 2009 to find out how the Center could assist them in better accommodating their African students, as well teaching about Africa. The focus groups showed an overwhelming need for more resources to help teachers in the area of African education. Teachers asked specifically for resources that were non-academic and which showed the everyday experiences of African people. This series, beginning with the first volume on West Africa, aims to meet that need. Teachers will be able to draw from this text when teaching students about the diverse and complex history of West Africa as well as contemporary issues related to the region and the Diaspora. It will also help them to better understand and meet the needs of their current and future West African students. The text introduces a wide variety of issues of importance to the West African region, paying particular attention to issues that would be of interest to American grade school teachers and students, such as education and socialization, life and worldviews, West African literature, technology, health and healing, and many more. This book is meant to give a brief introduction to these subjects with the goal of inspiring teachers and students to continue seeking out information about West Africa.

The first volume will consist of 15 chapters by key West African scholars and graduate students studying issues in the various fields.


Please keep checking back for updates on when this first volume will be available for purchase, or sign up for the Teaching Africa Series Listserve for periodic updates as well as upcoming announcements and new resources available from the Center for African Education on Teaching Africa.

Also be sure to check out our Resources page, as well as our announcements and upcoming events on the right hand side of this page!