African-Centered Curriculum

“African-centered curriculum is a system of sequentially planned educational opportunities designed to provide African heritage children with the necessary and required skills that will enable them to participate in the global marketplace. The focus and specific interests are, the upliftment and empowerment of themselves, their African-American communities, and the total development and growth of the African continent.” Organized around an integrated academic and social skills model, the African-centered curriculum is geared towards the development of youth as life-long learners and future leaders. The curriculum is designed to not only supplement and support the development and mastery of academic skills (reading, writing, math computation, and critical thinking) but also to provide students with a solid foundation of values and experiential learning.

The philosophy undergirding the curriculum is firmly planted within the concept of African Rites of Passage. Its primary goal is to facilitate our children’s knowledge and understanding of self – who they are and what they are about – the purpose, and meaning for their existence as they progress through life. The goal then is to provide African-American students with the tools and skills with which to minimize the forces that seek to destroy them but at the same time, allow them to achieve self-respect, self-discipline, physical, academic, mental, and emotional success based on the principles of Kwanzaa, the Nguzo Saba. Coupled with the Ma’atian virtues, the focus of values includes Responsibility, Decision-Making, Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution.

The WCS African-centered curriculum recognizes that an Africentric approach to life cannot be incorporated into one’s existence in isolation from the universal human experience, for, people are more likely to understand their personal and group circumstances when they realize that those circumstances are tied to, and fit into universal patterns of human behavior.

Many  scholarshave argued that children learn at different rates and that they learn 92% of what they do, therefore, our African-centered curriculum utilizes the concept of “learning by doing” (which is consistent with the learning styles of our youth), in today’s terms, this IS Engaged Learning.

To help our students to fully understand and place their personal and group circumstances within a global context, our lessons will be centered on the following important concepts:

Maafa, “disaster”
Sba, “teaching,” “wisdom,” and “study.”
Sia, “insight”
Sankofa, an Akan word which means “go back and fetch it.”
Mdw ntr, “divine word”
Mdw nfr, “good speech” or “the beautiful word”
Whmy msw, “deep thought,” “reawakening”
and Heka, “power”

Believing that these concepts and instructional approach will:

  • Allow learners to fit their personal experiences into patterns of universal human behavior. (SBA, The Virues of Ma’at and Nguzo Saba)
  • Relate their learning to what they already know  thereby, help them fit new learning into their conscious frame of reference. (“Truth in History” – Become subjects of our own history and not the objects of others history)
  • Allow for teachers and students to be creative in both learning and teaching. (Applying Multiple Intelligences)
  • Recognize the connections between and among all things and all people. (Respect for the Environment)
  • Provide learners with frameworks for understanding future problems that may confront them both in and outside the classroom. (Become Creators of Knowledge and Problem Solvers)�