K-12 educators and administrators often partner closely with the Center for African Studies. In addition to lectures and graduate courses designed for K-12, CAS provides students and other speakers to talk on Africa-related topics. CAS also helps in identifying web and other resources for educators.
Teachers’ Institutes and Speaker Series
For the past ten years, CAS has led summer institutes for K-12 teachers to help them integrate African studies into their classrooms. Past institutes have featured Somali History and Culture, Africa and Technology, African Women in Comparative Perspective, African Art and Visual Culture, and African Livelihoods. “Global Hotspots” speaker series have focused on the complexities of conflicts in Liberia, Sudan, the Niger Delta, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. CAS partners with K12 students studying Africa, linking them with people and other resources from the region.
Model African Union
CAS works with Columbus International High School, the Columbus Council on World Affairs, and OSU's Model UN student organization, the Collegiate Council on World Affairs, and OSU African students to organize a model African Union summit event for high schools throughout the state. The 2012 summit provided over 80 students representing 25 African countries an opportunity to step into the shoes of African Ambassadors, and engage with African issues in an innovative way. Students debate issues ranging from water resources to education to crisis intervention, and work together to produce resolutions addressing these topics while practicing their public speaking and diplomatic skills. This exercise of parliamentary procedure and research into African issues will give these young students a head start in knowledge & practice of international diplomacy.
Somali Studies for Educators
The website Somali Studies for Educators features resources and videotaped selections from CAS's 2009 teachers’ workshop in the Somali Women and Children’s Alliance, a community service center located in the Global Mall, a commercial and social center for many Somalis on Columbus’s North side. The workshop engaged participants to learn about Somali history, language, and culture in a variety of ways:
- Lectures by Humanities scholars about Somali history, poetry, spoken and written language,art and artifacts, and film.
- Multimedia presentations by Somali activists, artists, former diplomats, and social service providers on various issues facing the Diaspora community in Columbus and elsewhere.
- Lectures by education professionals on effective engagement of Somali students and parents.
- Discussions during and between sessions to highlight the important interrelationships and ‘take away’ ideas from these three different perspectives.
- Immersion opportunities to explore the Global Mall shops and interact with members of the Somali community.
- Final projects in which students designed lesson plans to support either Somali students’ learning of academic content and/or skills or non-Somali students’ learning about Somali history, language, and/or culture.
The videotaping of the workshop was undertaken to capitalize on the diversity and talent among the assembled presenters. Thirty-some hours of video footage were subsequently edited for use in web and DVD formats, with an eye to what would be useful to future teachers and learners of Somali culture. On the website and in the DVD “Somali History, Language, and Culture: Select Workshop Clips”, clips from presentations have been included to introduce viewers to important themes in the workshop. Full- length presentation recordings provide additional depth and coverage of each topic.