Integrating Aesthetics: Transforming Continuing and Professional Education Through Africentric Practice

Publication Year:
2013
Usage 317
Downloads 241
Abstract Views 76
Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.nl.edu/diss/73
Author(s):
Ellis, Auburn E
Tags:
Continuing and Professional Education; adult and continuing education; art based learning; africentric; culturally grounded; Art Practice; Curriculum and Instruction; Higher Education
thesis / dissertation description
K-12 practitioners in urban areas are faced with unique circumstances while serving racially marginalized students in public schools. As a response to this issue, the purpose of this study was to review and describe curricula used in three African Centered educational institutions in Chicago. African Centered schools are uniquely different, thus the need for research emerges to identify new ways to disseminate knowledge for traditional public school practitioners. Goals of the research were to analyze content and instructional strategies at African Centered educational institutions in order to design a continuing and professional education model based on their successes.The research design was an Africentric qualitative single case study that focused on the experiences of six educators in African Centered schools. The Africentric Paradigm was utilized as the theoretical framework. Research questions that guided the study were as follows: 1) how are conceptual and theoretical elements of the Africentric Paradigm reflected in educational environments and incorporated into curriculum and instruction at an African Centered institution, 2) how are the problems that result from sociocultural and intellectual racism addressed both cognitively and affectively through curriculum content, 3) what are the design and objectives of continuing education programs implemented at African Centered institutions, and 4) what culturally grounded strategies can be transferred to a traditional continuing education model for K-12 practitioners? The data collection instruments were document analysis, interviews, site visits (observations), and photography. To interpret field notes that emerged from observations during site visits, I completed a series of paintings to create a meaning context, which expressed the cognitive and affective impacts of instructional activities.Several important findings and conclusions emerged from the research. Each site had similar missions and the shared goal of building positive selfethnic image (Colin 1989). This was reflected in both curricula and artistic instructional strategies. African Centered practice is grounded in the cognitive and affective domains. In addition to K-12 curriculum content, what makes African Centered schools different is the focus on building positive selfethnic identity (Colin 1989) and the importance of community empowerment. Academic rigor and affective growth was developed through a consciousness of African value systems. These culturally grounded strategies were reflected in the continuing education model that emerged from analysis. If we look at how public schools are affecting our communities, it is clear that our students are being cognitively and affectively marginalized. By employing an Africentric framework, continuing and professional education can play a role in adequately preparing K-12 traditional public school practitioners for success with students of this Diaspora. Visit auburnaesthetic.com for images from ongoing field research.