Department of African American StudiesUniversity at Buffalo

CIRTASS (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Teaching Africana Studies in Schools) Project

The CIRTASS Project is a forerunner of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Teaching Africana1 Studies in Schools (CIRTASS). Beginning in the 1996-97 academic year, CIRTASS Project will operate within the auspices of the Community Service Program of the Department of African Studies while a full Center status is sought for its operation. For further information contact Professor Mwalimu Shujaa.

CIRTASS is a joint venture between the Faculty of Arts & Letters and the Graduate School of Education. Its goals are as follows:

Goal 1. Support an interdisciplinary research agenda focusing on understanding the dynamics of culturally relevant teaching of Africana studies in elementary and secondary schools as well as on issues related to professional development and teacher preparation for culturally relevant teaching of the Africana experience.

Goal 2. Establish at the University at Buffalo a nationally recognized interdisciplinary model for increasing the representation of students of African descent at public, predominantly white universities who pursue careers in school teaching.

2.1 Promote joint degree and certification programs between the Faculty of Arts and Letters and the Graduate School of Education in order to expand the career applicability of the baccalaureate degree in African and African American Studies and to increase the pool of students, particularly African Americans, eligible for admission into BRIET (Buffalo Research Institute on Education for Teaching) teacher certification programs

2.2 Provide early advisement for undergraduate African American Studies majors and minors and to facilitate their admission to teacher certification programs

2.3 Promote awareness of teaching as a career option among African and African-American Studies majors and minors.

Goal 3. Proactively address the preparation of professional educators to engage in culturally relevant teaching of Africana studies curriculum content in order to ameliorate the historic under-representation of the African cultural experience in the curricula of US schools at all levels.

3.1 Provide consultation and/or professional development activities for school teachers and administrators related to teaching the African cultural experience across the curriculum.

3.2 Serve as a clearinghouse for courses offered within the Graduate School of Education and the Faculty of Arts and Letters and elsewhere within UB that will contribute to the abilities of pre-service and in-service teachers to teach about the African cultural experience across the elementary and secondary school curriculum.

3.3 Expand the use of educational technology, particularly distance learning, to provide courses linking Africana studies and culturally relevant teaching to communities of educators in remote areas.

Goal 4. Provide consultative and evaluative services to elementary and secondary schools related to curriculum change and professional development for teaching Africana studies.

Goal 5. Sponsor summer institutes and study tours to Africa that are designed for elementary and secondary school teachers to enhance awareness of African culture and history and to broaden their background knowledge for teaching Africana studies.

Goal 6: Provide a forum for national interdisciplinary dialogue about the role of Africana studies teaching and research in achieving multicultural education goals.

For further information contact:
Professor Peter Ekeh
Department of African American Studies
732 Clemens Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, New York 14260
(716) 645-2082
Fax: (716) 645-5976


Last Modified: December 20, 2006