Participants in this workshop will explore ways to deeply connect African-American students to learning about the Earth by framing instruction around important questions in Pan-African studies. Potential intersections and questions might include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Using the geologic record to uncover the African roots of modern humans
  • Understanding people and migration in Africa: the role of geologic processes and the geologic record
  • Iron and metallurgy - origins, and innovation today
  • Water scarcity: international relations, culture, and sustainability
  • Desertification and reforestation of the Sahel: the intersection of human causes and natural processes
  • Diamonds: culture, conflict, and geology
  • The geography of gold - local and global ecological challenges and social impact
The workshop will include discussion to identify teaching opportunities at the intersection of geoscience and Pan-African studies, working time to develop ideas into activities for participant's courses, and work to synthesize and generalize the results of workshop discussions into a guiding rubric for activity development and evaluation.

Workshop Goals

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Explore the intersections between geoscience and the important, societally relevant questions that frame current teaching in Pan-African studies;
  • Explore the nature of culturally appropriate pedagogy for African-American students, define the characteristics of Pan-African pedagogy, and develop a rubric for evaluating modules and course materials using these criteria;
  • Develop outlines of modules and course materials that teach geoscience concepts in the context of African issues and using appropriate Pan-African pedagogy;
  • Develop a community that can move Pan-African approaches to geoscience teaching forward;
  • Create a website and teaching resources that support Pan-African geoscience teaching.

In advance of the workshop, all participants will submit an example from their teaching or a teaching idea that could be implemented in the next year. A synthesis of the discussion, the rubric, and the example collection will be published as an enduring resource to support others in the design of teaching activities that capitalize on African geography, geoscience, and culture.

This workshop is a joint effort of the InTeGrate HBCU Geosciences Working Group and the Morehouse College Faculty Development Pan-African Pedagogy Institute. This is the second in a series of HBCU InTeGrate Geoscience Workshops. The HBCU Geosciences Working Group, in collaboration with InTeGrate, is committed to strengthening geoscience curriculum and teaching, increasing the number of students entering the field, and broadly increasing Earth science literacy. An immediate goal is to increase HBCU participation in the InTeGrate project funded by a STEP Center grant from the National Science Foundation that supports the teaching of geoscience in the context of societal issues both within geoscience courses and across the undergraduate curriculum. For more information on the Morehouse College Faculty Development Pan-African Pedagogy Institute please see: http://www.morehouse.edu/facultydevelopmentcenter/.

Dates: May 23–25, 2017

Participants should plan to arrive in Atlanta, GA, in time for the first workshop event at 5 pm on Tuesday, May 23rd. The workshop will be over at 2 pm on Thursday, May 25th, and participants should plan return travel no earlier than 5 pm that day.


By applying to the workshop, participants agree to do the following, if accepted:

  • Teaching Activity/Syllabi/Essay–Applicants should submit at least one of the following: a) An activity that involves teaching geoscience in the context of African geography and culture; b) a syllabus from a course that explores teaching geoscience in the context of Pan-African pedagogy; or c) an essay on how one would combine the approach of teaching geoscience concepts in the context of Africa issues and using appropriate Pan-African pedagogy.
  • Prepare in advance for the workshop discussions via readings, writings, discussion, or other activities developed by the workshop leaders.
  • Participate fully in the entire workshop and attend all workshop sessions. Many participants will be invited to make presentations or serve as discussion or working group leaders at the workshop


Funds are available to support travel and housing for the workshop. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and they will be reimbursed after completion of the workshop.

Application and Selection Criteria

Preference will be based on strength of participants current teaching about Earth in the context of Africa or their capacity to integrate geoscience into their Africa teaching. The final list of participants will be developed with the goal of assembling a group of experienced faculty, representing a wide range of experiences, institution types, and a balance of geoscience and other disciplines.

The application period is closed.


The workshop location is Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

For More Information

If you have any questions, please contact Rory McFadden at the Science Education Research Center: rmcfadden@carleton.edu.