|Curriculum development in higher education, Black nationalism, Black student protest and Black studies|
Barbara Anne Wheeler
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: African American students, African Americans, Education, Higher, Study and teaching, United States
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: BLACK NATIONALISM, BLACK STUDENT PROTEST AND BLACK STUDIES
Barbara Anne Wheeler
Prompted by the need to understand the confusion and conflict which attended the introduction of Black Studies into the university curriculum, this dissertation attempts to examine the historical and political origins of the demand for this controversial educational innovation. Observation and a rather superficial knowledge of the historical record led to the initial hypothesis which further investigation of the literature appeared to support. Concisely stated, the demand for Black Studies could be viewed as the logical outgrowth of the intersection of at least three historical movements which collided in time and space and produced the vortex which swept the demand for organized knowledge about the black experience onto the social consciousness and the university campus.
The most significant of these movements was the international struggle for black liberation which began with the seizure of the African from the continent--black nationalism. The second historical force which led to the introduction of Black Studies is best described as the university reform movement--the university∆s conscious attempt to reform itself. In addition, the cybernetic interaction between the university and the society has assured both conscious and unconscious, but ever-constant change in the organization and process of higher education. The third force responsible for the adoption and diffusion of Black Studies has been labeled the Student Protest Movement--the international articulation of student frustration and discontent with the university and the society to which it relates. A major component of the international student protest movement was the black student disaffection which served as the catalyst for the introduction of Black Studies.
While acknowledging the importance of the University Reform Movement and the global Student Protest Movement--both of which helped to provide the climate for the articulation of the demand for Black Studies; this dissertation focuses primarily upon the relationship of the Black Nationalist Movement and the Black Student Movement to the Black Studies Movement. It attempts to demonstrate that the demand for Black Studies was a logical extension of the Black Nationalist Movement and represents one of the latest in the numerous ways it has been historically expressed.
A major portion of this dissertation consists of a description of the origins, persistence and major events, issues and personalities associated with the international black nationalist movement. Chapter 2 is devoted to a description of the concepts of nationalism in general and black nationalism in particular. As such it serves a definitional and clarifying function designed to provide a framework for viewing the following chapters. Chapter 2 describes the evolution and various forms of black nationalism. Chapter 3 examines the dynamics of the black student protest movement. Case studies of Black Studies program offerings at eight American colleges are presented in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 catalogs the major problems confronting Black Studies and suggests heuristic possibilities for research and programmatic activities potentially beneficial to the emerging field of Black Studies.
As a descriptive analysis of historical phenomena and political imperatives, the study has relied heavily upon secondary sources. Very little new knowledge has been presented. The value of this dissertation resides in the organization and presentation of accessible, but unharnessed data which demonstrate the historical continuity of the black protest activities which resulted in the demand for Black Studies. A significant by-product of the endeavor has been the development of a curriculum, which, in its present or an altered form, may prove useful for Black Studies courses.
The need for such an extensive presentation resides primarily in the assumption that knowledge facilitates understanding and that understanding will help to assure the retention of Black studies as an area of academic enquiry.