ERIC Number: ED344832
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
African Centered Education: What Is It and Why Do We Need It?
Powell, Frances J.
An African centered curriculum has two parts. It is both a process that centers around the cultural heritage of African Americans, and the infusion of content that will stimulate and/or reinforce the growth and development of African and African-American mental and ethical traits. The scholars who are the main proponents of an African centered curriculum argue that the existing curriculum is overwhelmingly white and European in outlook and content, and reinforces insensitivity among whites leaving black children feeling inferior and disconnected from their studies. The proponents also point out several specific omissions and distortions in the curriculum as it is currently taught in most school systems and universities. These deficiencies include the contention that there is no significant history of African people in most academic disciplines before the slave trade. Critics of African centered education argue that the scholarship behind this movement is historically inaccurate, that the rhetoric of the advocates of an African centered curriculum is racially divisive and that, in some instances, the advocates represent a new form of racial intolerance. In addition to surveying the debate over an African centered curriculum, this paper also briefly summarizes the movement for multicultural education and the efforts of the District of Columbia Public School System to develop a multicultural curriculum. (DB)
Descriptors: African Culture, African Studies, Afrocentrism, Black Culture, Black Education, Black History, Black Studies, Blacks, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Curriculum Development, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Minority Groups, Multicultural Education, Social Studies
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: District of Columbia Public Schools