FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about African Centered Education
Question 1. What does African Centered Mean?
African centeredness refers to the common and diverse perspectives of peoples of African descent as the lens of culture, exploration and understanding the individual and community experience. It is particular in its geographical and community context and universal in that that all humans have their physical, social and intellectual origins in Africa. African centeredness affirms the principles of universal and human rights and dignity for all peoples.
Question 2. What is African Centered Education and what will my child learn?
African centered education is a global and authentic approach to learning and teaching that is grounded in the historical, contemporaneous and cultural perspectives of African Americans, other Africans of the Diaspora and the continent of Africa.
African centered education is holistic, meaning that the student will be involved in cross discipline learning, meeting state core curriculum goals and guidelines, critical and creative thinking, self-concept development, character and ethical development and education. Our aim is to be a global model of African-Centered teaching and learning — a center and community of academic excellence. We will equip students with a strong sense of personal identity and academic and leadership skills to prepare them for participation the global community of this century.
African centered education places the African American student at the center of the educational experience as a subject rather than an object. This placement of the student at the center allows for an inclusionary process, which gives equal representation of all groups rather than one group over or below any other group.
Question 3. Will teachers and staff be supported with professional development?
Yes, there will be continuous workshops for instructional staff to ensure the competent delivery of African-Centered Education.
Question 4. How will parents be involved?
Kwame Nkrumah Academy recognizes the importance of parent participation and parenting in education. We believe that a successful school must be welcoming of parents, their needs and their contribution to the overall success of the school. The goal is for 100% participation in the Parent Council. One parent from the Parent Council will be elected as a representative on the Board of Trustees of Kwame Nkrumah Academy. The work of the Council of Parents will be initially conducted through four committees: Curriculum, Fundraising and Resource Development, School Culture and Public Relations.
Question 5. Why are some people against African Centered Education?
Because of misinformation and misunderstanding about, “What African Centered Education really is and what it is not.” At an African Centered school, students will be exposed to a world-view experience that relates to all people, cultures, and traditions from the context of their reality, which will enhance their own self esteem, positive self imaging and higher standard of educational excellence.
Question 6. Does African Centered Education teach racism?
No! Racism is a power relation where one group is able to deny other groups equity of power, based on the criteria of a superior race. African Centered Education is an inclusionary educational process with emphasis on the African American experience that teaches all people are equal.
Question 7. Why is African Centered Education needed?
Traditional instructional models and Euro-centric education does not support a holistic approach to educating African American students. Educational research affirms the benefits of learning environments that are culturally relevant and appropriate to the children served. This suggests that all learning is related to identity and purposeful human and community interactions.
Question 8. Will students just learn about “black stuff” or will they learn about other cultures and ethnic groups?
African Centered Education acknowledges the scientific fact that humanity began in Africa. African Centered Education is an approach, which includes the study of the culture, heritage, contributions and traditions of all humans in the context of history and 21st century reality.
Question 9. What are Ma’at and the Nguzo Saba?
Ma’at is an ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) concept. The Nguzo Saba is a term popularized by Dr. Maulana Karenga. As used by the Ancient Africans, Ma’at was a concept that stood for “universal order.” Ma’at represents reality in all its manifestations both spiritual and material. It is the creative force that encompasses and embraces everything that is alive and exists. As an ethical system, Ma’at is often discussed as seven cardinal virtues (truth, justice, righteousness, harmony, balance, reciprocity, and order). The Nguzo Saba is comprised of seven principles (Umoja, Unity; Kujichagulia, Self-Determination; Ujima, Cooperative Work and Responsibility; Ujamaa, Collective Economics; Nia, Purpose; Kuumba, Creativity; and Imani, Faith). The Nguzo Saba is most widely recognized in relationship to the seven days of Kwanzaa.
Question 10. What is the difference between African Centered Education, African Studies and Afrocentricity?
Remember, African Centered Education is an educational approach that utilizes African and African American cultural and intellectual traditions and processes in guiding the teaching and learning experience. It is both the philosophy and the practice, which guides the process of teaching and learning. Afrocentricity is a research construct and lens of thought and practice, which is rooted, in the cultural image and interest of people of African ancestry. It is a concept that guides the intellectual investigation and understanding of reality. African Studies is the designation given to the body of studies primarily concerned with the experience of African people. It is an academic discipline like Political Science or Economics.