A Primer for Teaching African History

Ten Design Principles

A Primer for Teaching African History

Design Principles for Teaching History

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Book Pages: 184 Illustrations: 1 photograph Published: March 2018

Author: Trevor R. Getz

Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, History > World History, Pedagogy and Higher Education

A Primer for Teaching African History is a guide for college and high school teachers who are teaching African history for the first time, for experienced teachers who want to reinvigorate their courses, for those who are training future teachers to prepare their own syllabi, and for teachers who want to incorporate African history into their world history courses. Trevor R. Getz offers design principles aimed at facilitating a classroom experience that will help students navigate new knowledge, historical skills, ethical development, and worldviews. He foregrounds the importance of acknowledging and addressing student preconceptions about Africa, challenging chronological approaches to history, exploring identity and geography as ways to access historical African perspectives, and investigating the potential to engage in questions of ethics that studying African history provides. In his discussions of setting goals, pedagogy, assessment, and syllabus design, Getz draws readers into the process of thinking consciously and strategically about designing courses on African history that will challenge students to think critically about Africa and the discipline of history.


"[A] landmark and user-friendly book. . . . Getz's book is very useful—vital, even—in charting a course." — Toby Green, Times Higher Education

"A rich array of potential resources and activities. . . . Getz's expertise in African history is clear. . . . Well organized, and thought-provoking." — Holly E. Marcolina, World History Connected

"A Primer for Teaching African History is lucid, the chapters are not overly long, and is pleasantly easy to read. In all conceivable ways, this book, like the few that came before it, is of great epistemological and pedagogical relevance and is thus useful for both new and established teachers of African history, African studies, and world history because it exposes them to great ideas and strategies for enhancing teaching skills." — Kwaku Nti, Journal of Global South Studies

"Trevor Getz has written a thoughtful and inspiring book centered on generative approaches to teaching African history courses for the twenty-first-century classroom. Getz is astutely aware of the core issues and challenges of teaching about continental Africa's diverse past, paying careful attention to a wide range of interdisciplinary, pedagogical, and methodological tools to address them. Historians will find this richly textured book to be indispensable as they design new courses or reconfigure old ones." — Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch, Dartmouth College

"Trevor R. Getz—a master teacher and innovative scholar—has constructed a remarkably flexible framework that challenges teachers of African history to think more creatively about the goals and structure of their courses. Taking a nondogmatic approach to stimulating conversations about pedagogy, Getz encourages teachers to go beyond using standard textbooks and to employ a more creative toolkit that takes advantage of different interpretations and sources. This book takes a crucial step toward more effective and engaging teaching." — Richard Roberts, author of Litigants and Households: African Disputes and Colonial Courts in the French Soudan, 1895–1912


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Price: $24.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Trevor R. Getz is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at San Francisco State University and the author and editor of several books, including Abina and the Important Men.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Part I. Conceiving a Student-Centered Course
1. A Place to Begin: What Students Bring with Them
2. Setting Goals: Why Should Students Study African History?
Part II. Content and Design
3. Locating Africa: Designing with Space
4. When Was Africa? Designing with Time
5. Who Are Africans? Designing with Identity
6. Making Hard Choices: Coverage and Uncoverage
Part III. Opportunities
7. Ethical Thinking as an Outcome of the African History Course
8. Teaching Methodology and Source Interpretation through the African History Course
9. The African History Course and the Other Digital Divide
10. Bringing It All Together
Selected Bibliography
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing

Trevor Getz is the recipient of the Eugene Asher Award, presented by the American Historical Association

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6982-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-7103-8
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