Montage of African Textiles

Resources for Educators

See: Educator Links    

K-12 Outreach

The Berkeley Stanford Joint Center for African Studies (JCAS) serves as a crucial resource on Africa for the larger community including K-12 and post-secondary students and educators, the media, business and the general public. Currently, the Joint Center outreach efforts have three main goals: continuing K-12 curriculum development and teacher training activities, elaborating its ties with other regional post-secondary institutions and intensifying its interactions with the media and business. The JCAS outreach program encompasses a multitude of activities including, fielding inquiries about Africa and African Studies, staging workshops, seminars and conferences for the general public and targeted groups, developing resources for use in the schools, consulting on public, private and non-profit sector ventures, providing speakers for classrooms and community groups and disseminating information via our quarterly newsletter, e-mail listservs and web pages.

The Center staff manages its K-12 activities with the support of two key complementary units on the Berkeley and Stanford campuses, respectively, the Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS) and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). The Joint Center also has close working relations with the various regional World Affairs Councils (WAC) and the Bay Area Global Education Project (BAGEP) based at the San Francisco WAC. These ties provide important links to general public and K-12 educators. In addition, JCAS is participating in two newly established outreach endeavors on the Berkeley campus: the Chancellor’s $1 million Berkeley Pledge, and the Interactive University Project (IUP), a collaborative US Department of Commerce funded project identifying how best the University can use information infrastructure (e.g. the Internet) to provide community service. The Joint Center also cooperates with other Title VI Centers on each campus for innovative comparative projects. For instance, we co-produced with the UCB Center for Middle East Studies a 23 minute video, Sudan: Confluence of Arab and African Worlds. Each summer with ORIAS and the other Title VI Centers at UC Berkeley we organize a one-week teachers institute. Finally, the Joint Center works with other African Studies center around the country through the African Studies Association Outreach Council.

The Joint Center has a strong program in curriculum development and teacher training for the elementary to community college level. Faculty and graduate students regularly visit classrooms, lead in-service teacher training sessions, consult on and even produce curriculum.

The Joint Center also provides resources to educators through ORIAS, a joint effort of the Berkeley area studies centers and the Dean of International and Area Studies. Since 1994, ORIAS’s mission has been to make the unique international resources at Berkeley available to the larger community of Northern California. Outreach activities of ORIAS include providing speakers and resources on international topics, organizing educator workshops and in-service sessions, creating resource packets and curriculum units, distributing resources developed by ORIAS and the affiliated centers, publishing a newsletter, maintaining an interactive web site, and providing orientation to on-line resources.

In addition, the Center participates in systematic curriculum development through SPICE. SPICE materials are distributed world-wide and are available for preview by teachers at more than 25 programs in the US and Canada. Since 1985, SPICE has developed 9 units on Africa, including 3 for French language classes. The three most recent are on South African History, understanding hunger in Africa (both for high school through college) and rural East Africa (elementary level). SPICE’s commitment to high academic quality and an interactive educational process is reflected in the units, which result from an interdisciplinary collaboration between pedagogical experts, Joint Center faculty and graduate students, community resource persons and classroom teachers. SPICE also produces a newsletter, Connections, which is distributed to 6000 teachers. Each edition includes activities from SPICE units. Finally, SPICE’s organizes a one-day teacher workshop on Africa every spring on the Stanford campus.

Learn more about past Joint Center K-12 outreach activities.

Post-Secondary Outreach

In addition to outreach to post-secondary units through ORIAS, the Joint Berkeley-Stanford Center serves as an important resource for our neighboring institutions. Local faculty have access to our libraries and events, and they participate in our research focus groups and annual conference. The spring conference has long been a major event for local scholars and educators.

The Center seeks particularly to support local faculty in their teaching of African Studies. Our staff is available by appointment for consultation on the development of courses, study programs and research projects. To this end, we have begun developing web-based material for instructors, including a searchable database of online course syllabi and a list of select web links. The inspiration for this emerged from a Ford Foundation funded project Strengthening African Studies through Diversity and, specifically, from an August 2000 three-day workshop on the teaching of African Studies. The project continues with several educator workshops in Spring 2003.

Our staff also welcomes visits and inquiries from students from other colleges and universities. We can provide consultation by appointment on research projects, study abroad, and career and graduate school plans. As part of the Ford funded Strengthening African Studies project, we have developed a two-week intensive summer institute for undergraduates. The first two took place on the Stanford Campus in 1996 and 1998. The third is happening in the Summer of 2001.


University of California, Berkeley Search  |  About Site  |  Contact