Op-Ed: Africana Studies Can Save Education—and the World

January 31, 2023

Growing up, Ismael Jimenez loved learning but not school.

In a recent op-ed for Education Week, he explains what he means and makes the case that Africana Studies can save education.

"My exposure to the power of Black history as early as elementary school and my desire to address injustice led me to my core belief that Africana studies can save the world," writes Jimenez, who is the head of social studies curriculum for the School District of Philadelphia and an adjunct professor in Penn GSE's Urban Teaching Apprentice Program (UTAP) program.

"I believe that Africana studies can encourage us to reconfigure the hierarchical relationship between student and teacher that has long made classrooms a dehumanizing place for students like me. Teachers can shift the focus of education away from simply acquiring skills to compete in the workforce to cooperative learning models that emphasize our collective responsibility to each other. Africana studies is the missing intellectual component we need for a more humane and holistic education system."

Read the full Opinion article here.