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Young Peoples Perceptions of Africa Richard Borowski Leeds University Centre for African Studies.

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1 Young Peoples Perceptions of Africa Richard Borowski Leeds University Centre for African Studies

2 Without intervention infants are liable to accept uncritically the bias and discrimination they see around them. Stereotypes promoted in advertisements and stories of war, famine and disaster in the media further distort perceptions. At the same time, the influence of parents and peer group pressure may also serve to confirm negative views. From here racism and all its attendant evils are only a short step away. Dr Stephen Scoffham Young Childrens Perceptions of the World Teaching Young Children, 1999

3 African Voices Recruitment LUCAS recruits MA and PhD students from Africa. The students come from a wide range of African countries but mainly from English speaking regions of the continent. They are recruited from across the University and study a broad range of courses such as Development Studies, Education, TESOL, Economics and Finance, Communication Studies, Sociology, Public Health and even Chemical & Civil Engineering.

4 African Voices Training The African students recruited to the project have a very different experience of schools - chalk and talk lessons and classrooms with little technology. To prepare them to deliver lessons in UK schools they are provided with a course of training about the UK school system, active learning methodology, teaching strategies and classroom management and lesson planning.

5 African Voices Delivery The activity programmes delivered by the African post-graduate students consist of a mixture of activities: Generic activities about Africa, such as true/false quizzes, diamond rankings and role plays Focused country profiles and workshops on contemporary themes developed by the students Cultural activities such as stories, music and dancing and games

6 African Voices Research The impact of the African students on pupil perceptions of Africa and African peoples has been researched using, Africa maps, pupil questionnaires and focus group discussions. Changes in pupil perceptions of Africa have been identified by comparing the results obtained prior to and following the sessions delivered by the African students. The reasons for these changes were explored during the focus group interviews with pupils.

7 Graphic Perceptions

8 49.5% 63.3% 27.5% 36.7% 28.4% Linguistic Perceptions 46.4% 44.6% 40.2% 37.5% 42.9%

9 39.9% 73.2%52.9% 38.4% 58.0% Visual Perceptions 44.7% 27.7% 38.3% 66.0% 34.0% East African Elephants Traffic in Windhoek, Namibia Traditional rural housing, Ghana Sad Children with bowls, East Africa Camel train, Sahara desert Nairobi city skyline, Kenya Shanty town dwellings, Southern Africa Zulu dancers, South Africa Oil storage tanks, Nigeria Table mountain, South Africa Gold mining, Southern Africa Tea pickers, East Africa

10 Perceptions of Africans

11 Perceptions of Africa

12 Perceptions of Development

13 Initial Perceptions Focus Group Responses When you see Red Nose Day you see loads of pictures of people starving I thought it was like what you see on the news – straw huts and fighting I used to think that Africa was primitive and deprived because the media focuses on the worst part Everybody focuses on the poor parts of Africa – anybody who has not been there thinks its quite poor (Year 5/6 pupils)

14 Changes in Perceptions Focus Group Responses I thought there would be no rich people there but they have diamond mines and big houses. I didnt know they had cars, I thought they had to walk. I learnt that there are wealthy people in Africa as well That there are over 1000 languages in Africa I was surprised to find out there are 53 independent countries I didnt know that there are lots of really tall skyscrapers I didnt know that there was that much technology in Africa (Year 5/6 pupils)

15 Impact of African Students Role Models The students challenged the stereotypical view of an African – highly educated, relatively wealthy and articulate Personal Bond The students became a real person that the pupils could relate to and value what they had to say Active Learning Active learning approaches encouraged discussion, critical analysis and peer group interaction New Information The students were a source of new information about Africa and presented a different perspective of the continent

16 Research Analysis Initial Perceptions Pupils attending schools in more affluent areas were more likely to be positive than pupils from less affluent areas The presence of BME pupils and curriculum initiative promoting greater global awareness had a positive but minor influence External Influences TV programmes, news reports, films about Africa and NGO campaigns all contribute to a perception that Africans are poor, helpless and in need of Western charity African Students The African students had an equally positive impact on all schools regardless of their location

17 Without intervention infants are liable to accept uncritically the bias and discrimination they see around them. Stereotypes promoted in advertisements and stories of war, famine and disaster in the media further distort perceptions. At the same time, the influence of parents and peer group pressure may also serve to confirm negative views. From here racism and all its attendant evils are only a short step away. Dr Stephen Scoffham Young Childrens Perceptions of the World Teaching Young Children, 1999

18 Young Peoples Perceptions of Africa Richard Borowski Leeds University Centre for African Studies


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