Those Who Learn, Must Teach (Ethiopian proverb)
The African and African American Institute consist of two linked experiences, the
Ghana Study Abroad Program and the African and African American Studies Institute
(AAASI). The African and African American Institute is grounded in the belief and
proven research that history and culture intersect to create a foundation for any
group's identity, particularly in a diverse society like that of the United States.
A strong personal and group identity is a necessary support for achievement in any
educational context. Educators note that the absence of content on a group's history
and culture promotes a sense of that group's invisibility in an educational community.
K-12 teachers also argue that, more specifically, the lack of African and African
American content is one of the leading factors in underachievement by African American
students. The African and African American Institute (AAAI) uses a multi-tiered learning
experience to support an interdisciplinary, intergenerational approach to learning
about African and African American history and culture. AAAI builds on collaboration
between the University of Memphis's College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education,
Health and Human Sciences, the Center for International Programs, University of Ghana
faculty and area schools.
This summer program is centered on enhancing knowledge of African and African American
history and culture. Local high school teachers and University of Memphis students
will participate in an interdisciplinary study abroad program in Ghana (West Africa)
that will enrich their understanding of Ghanaian history and culture. They will offer
a summer institute for high school students from several local schools that will expand
their knowledge of the history and culture of people of African descent living in
Africa and in the United States. The overall result will be a learning experience
that significantly prepares these secondary school and university students for the
global lifestyles they will experience in the future.
The African and African American Institute will provide an opportunity for local high
school teachers to develop a rich curriculum that incorporates their experiences in
Ghana and their interactions with university specialists in African and African American
history, literature and the arts. The teachers will use this curriculum in the AAASI
and in their own classrooms. Meaningful immersion experiences like those provided
by the African and African American Institute will assure deeper and more authentic
The AAAI seeks to provide an interdisciplinary learning experience in African and
African American history and culture to area educators, college students and high
- To enrich knowledge and the understanding of African history and culture among university
students, high school students and teachers.
- To provide University of Memphis students and Memphis and Shelby County area teachers
with an immersion experience in Ghana (West Africa) where they will learn about African
history and culture.
- To equip area school teachers with a curriculum that enables them to bring African
and African American history and culture into their schools and classrooms.
- To create a sustainable collaborative educational relationship between the University
of Memphis, the University of Ghana, the Ho Airfield School (Volta region, Ghana)
and high school students and educators from Memphis and Shelby County.
African and African American Institute Components
Ghana Study Abroad Program (University of Memphis Students and Local High School Teachers): With support from an outside source, the Institute will provide scholarships for
University of Memphis students and high school teachers, led by University of Memphis
faculty, to participate in an immersion program in Ghana. In addition to lectures
and site visits participants will engage in service learning activities at the Ho
Airfield School in the Volta region of Ghana. The high school teachers and the University
of Memphis students will develop curriculum based on their experiences.
U of M students interested in participating in the AAAI may complete a program application
African and African American Studies Institute (High School Students): A two-week summer institute will be offered for area high school students at the
University of Memphis campus from June 30 - July 12, 2014. The institute will be offered
after the Ghana study abroad experience. Participants from the Ghana study abroad
experience will work together to present the curriculum they have developed to the
high school students.
High school students completing the Institute can earn a half credit for high school
social studies and dual enrollment credit.
The Curriculum of the high school program includes:
- In-Class Instruction
- Guest Lectures
- Tours to Historical Sites in Memphis
- Cultural and Arts Experiences
- Historical Studies using Original Source Documents (UofM Collections)
- Computer Access on Campus
Sample Daily Schedule for the AAASI:
- 9:00 – 10:30 Class taught by Classroom Teachers
- 10:30 -11:15 Guest Lecture from Faculty and Community Invitees
- 11:15-Noon Lunch
- Noon-3:00 Supervised Library Research
AAASI participants will complete a project of their choosing that reflects their learning
Exhibition of Learning: The Institute participants will create a mural entitled "From
Memphis to Ghana" as part of a culminating project. They will also present a drumming
and dance performance based on techniques taught to them by participants in the Ghana
Study Abroad program.
For more information on the AAAI please contact the Study Abroad Office at firstname.lastname@example.org