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RECOMMENDATION FOR A SHORT COURSE IN

PREPARING HIGHSCHOOL & AFRIKANA


STUDIES STUDENTS FOR LEADERSHIP IN
CONTINENTAL AND DIASPORAN
NATIONBUILDING

DR. AMBAKISYE-OKANG DUKUZUMURENYI1

INTRODUCTION

PURPOSE
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.

PROBLEM
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

1
Dr. Dukuzumurenyi holds a Masters of Public Administration Degree and a Doctorate in Public Policy
Analysis from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Southern University A & M
College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His research interests include Afrikan and Diasporan Liberatory
Education Delinking from the West, Nation-Building, and Afrikan/Diasporan Economic/Community
Development.
maintains its relevancy for as Hare states, “…a Black education which

is not revolutionary in the current day is both irrelevant and useless.2”

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

2
Nathan Hare, “What Should be the Role of Afro-American Education in the
Undergraduate Curriculum?” Liberal Education, 55, 1 (March, 1969) pp. 42-50.;
Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies (Los Angeles: University of Sankore
Press, 2002) pp. 17.

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Diaspora Civilizations but also skilled in conflict resolution, strategic

planning and management, city planning, public administration,

economics, entreprenuership and nation-building ethics that the

definition of the discipline as offered by Nathan Hare may be fully

realized. It is to this end that the proposed recommendation is made.

SCOPE

This report provides an overview of the Instructional

Methodology of the short course and Session Topics.

INSTRUCTIONAL METHODOLOGY

Viewing free sound inquiry as the foundation of democratic

living, this methodology has the established objective of producing

effective professionals and scholars.3 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

3
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)

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intention to accomplish this through sound systematic teaching

methods4.

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

4
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
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.”

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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

media technologies. These include but are not limited to non-

projected visuals such as models, pictures, and field trips; projected

visuals; audio media; computers, interactive video, television and

DVDs5.

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.6” 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

context7. If words are read within a void absent historical and social

context then a degree of illiteracy still exists. The instructional

5
Robert Heinich, Michael Molenda, and James D. Russell, Instructional Media and the
New Technologies of Instruction (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company,1993)
6
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.
7
Ibid. pp. 5-9.

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methodology that I use takes this into account. This methodology is

applicable to all areas of instruction and amenable to all content areas.

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 illustration8.

Broad Concept of
Environment

Concepts &
Inter-disciplinary Learner Perceptions
Analysis

A Process of Self
Comparative
Decision-Making & Development
Analysis
Social Action
Focused

The self-reflective evaluative methodology as illustrated places

the student at the center the self-development process. The student

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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.

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approaches his development from an interdisciplinary perspective. In

particular the student is guided in applying various concepts to his own

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

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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 Model9

1) Problem Identification & Definition

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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)

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A. Identify & define the Problem: substantiate that a problem
does in fact exist.

B. Determine whose Affected by the problem.

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. Political Feasibility

2. Economic Feasibility

3. Social/Cultural Feasibility

4. Administrative Feasibility

5. Technical Feasibility

6. 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

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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

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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 groups-

group 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.

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SHORTCOURSE TOPICS

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

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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 Neo-
colonial experience; and integration of traditional and rural administrative

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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

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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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