1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Africa ideas please?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by funchick2, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. My school has only ever covered wildlife in Kenya, and mining in South Africa.

    I have never understood the obsession primary schools have with Africa. If you are after history and culture then there are lots more interesting countries such as Japan, Russia, and South America.
  2. 'Obsession????' I don't think so! My own view is marked by the fact that I've been to Africa and seen both rich and poverty. We have a SA teacher in school who taught in the townships.

    Perhaps it has more to do with giving children a point of reference they understand more than Russia, Japan etc. After all primary age children need it to be referenced somewhere they understand - aspects of daily life are hardly front page news from South America in this country, whereas Africa is. Perhaps your school needs to look at the cultural aspects of areas of Africa rather than mining and wildlife!! If Africa was purely that I'd be bored out of my skull too!
  3. it is important to study parts of Africa to dispell the myth that everyone there is poor and dying as this is the main thing children often think when you ask them to tell you about Africa, before you have started studying it.

    Africa, whichever part you choose to study, is such a rich source of every aspect of the curriculum so it fits nicely with the cross-curricular approach.

    I also found the pupils learned so much about race relations when we studied the apartheid.

    Saying that, I may consider studying Australia next as you can get lots from that too: art, culture, history, race relations, geography, etc
  4. If you are the sort of person who lets the mainstream news dictate what your class learns, then how about themed topics on Israel, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan? These countries are always in the news and have long and rich histories and cultures.

    It has crossed my mind that it might be better for schools to focus more on countries that aren't in the news every day. In recent years my school has covered Switzerland and Finland when teaching about Europe, but these countries hardly ever get any media coverage.

    I find the concept of a point of reference a bit abstract and is determined by one's background. I can't see how Africa could be a better point of reference than Japan to native British children. Lots of children are interested in Japan from video games.

    My school tries to be democratic and asks parents what themed topics they are most interested in.
  5. If you have a personal interest in Japan or South America you will probably convey your passion and enthusiasm in your teaching and create lessons that are exciting and interesting. Few pupils will have a personal connection though, I think, whereas Africa will have relevance and strike a chord for many, whether black or white. Russian history has affected us all in the UK, though I think it'd be more interesting to the secondary age group than primary.
  6. Children are more likely to have an interest in Africa beacuse they see it in the news- Japan and Russia are not common. Also there are a great range of resources and people who come into schools to share culture. And finally perhaps most importantly in many schools children will have Africa in their own personal background making it very relevant in same way for many India and the surrounding countries will be relevant and increasingly areas such as Poland will start to have a similar significance.
    Plus surely its important that staff have a passion and interest if its to be taught well. As to parents im all for getting them involved but know most of ours would prefer no other cultures taught and cant imagine any suggesting Japan or Russia either this does not mean that we should not teach about such things
  7. For the past few years the parents have been given the vote of which themed topics are used. So far Africa hasn't been chosen. The parents have voted for Japan and South America.

    One of the teachers has visited several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. When she gave a presentation about her experiences, she mentioned that many African countries are run by dictators who are obscenely rich and probably have more money than Bill Gates. For some reason the LEA wasn't very impressed with that comment.

    Surprisingly few children even in Y5 and Y6 watch television news on a regular basis according to anonymous surveys done at my school.
  8. Hello. I know this is an old post but just seen that you did a topic on africa. Were going more cross curricular next year and wondered if i could have a copy of your plans??
    Thank you

  9. If you have time could you send me a copy please?
    Thank you [​IMG]
  10. deeley

    deeley New commenter

    can't see this anywhere on a brief read through, apologies if I'm wrong

    2010 World cup - huge resources and ideas out there...and a fabulous hook in for the class
  11. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Very true. I'm going to do a 'World Cup Week' with my class in the Summer term. Loads of activities that we can get stuck into. Oxfam teachers site has lots that link to Africa and some really good interactive resources too.
  12. You can download free music from http://www.cadburymusic.com/ where there's tracks from Fairtrade fortnight (well-known modern tracks recreated by a traditional African band). Ace!
  13. I mean no disrespect when I say, AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY!!!!

    As a Zimbabwean I get very tired of people and fellow teachers treating the continent as a monolith. It is ridiculous.

    We do not treat European Countries as one identity so why do we do it with Africa?
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I couldn't agree more. This always irritates me.

  15. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And I've made the point often enough on here. I've possibly made it on this thread but I don't want to trawl through it just in case.

  16. Wel inky.... thanks. I'll think of some ideas tonight. How about a guided inquiry? I have a fair amount of African music on my itunes. If you are able to suggest a way for me to transfer it to you, I would be happy to do so. Cheers from Hong Kong.
  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    On the other hand, the names of continents have a certain romance to them. 'Europe' means something entirely different to, say, a Singaporean tourist, from what it means to an Italian visiting Finland. So Africa has some justification for a non-African.
    There. I've been fair.
    But I hate the way Africa is portrayed. It embarrasses me that teachers can be so ill-informed. We are not tourists.
  18. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Ouch. With that remark you wll have offended both the South American and African families at my school.
    Oh, and you've offended me too.

Share This Page