African Studies

Including international literature in the English curriculum has been a passion of mine for many years, and I’ve been particularly interested in African studies, perhaps because Africa is the most underrepresented part of the world in the curriculum, in my opinion.

For the past five years I’ve been working with several colleagues (including one from Senegal and one from The Gambia) to establish an African Studies program at Amherst Regional High School. We’ve co-taught a pilot course a couple of times, and we have some additions to the curriculum in the works. Another goal is to establish a student exchange program with Senegal and The Gambia, and we’re about to take a step toward that goal.

Several of us are embarking on a trip to those countries to visit cultural sites and schools ans to meet families. We’ll be blogging the trip at Come along for the journey!

2 thoughts on “African Studies

  1. Lori


    I did it. I just finished my first week as an English teacher in a middle school. It was AWESOME! I love it. Thank you so much for your book and for your comment referring to McTighe and Wiggins. I am at an IB Candidate school and was in laminating my new IB Areas of Interaction poster to put in my room when I noticed that our school media specialist had just put out a bunch of books in the workroom for teachers. Among them was Understanding by Design! 🙂

    I really appreciate you sharing your wealth of information. It has helped the start of my career much more smooth.


  2. Bruce Penniman Post author

    Hi Lori,

    Congratulations on a successful first week! Teaching always has its ups and downs; I’m really glad your beginning was an up. I hope you will have many more weeks like this.

    UbD is a really powerful concept, and it is really catching on across the country. I had a chance to work with Jay McTighe a little bit in July, as he is mentoring Massachusetts’ efforts to create model curriculum from the new Common Core standards. He’s a very inspiring guy.

    I’d love to hear more about how your teaching is going!


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