Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
431 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2019
Print ISBN: 9781773380612


In Centering African Proverbs, Indigenous Folktales, and Cultural Stories in Curriculum, skilled experts George J. Sefa Dei and Mairi McDermott develop effective ways of delivering education to the evermore-diverse groups of learners in schools. This new edited collection aims to improve educational practices in pluralistic contexts by substantively engaging African proverbs, Indigenous folktales, and cultural stories in curricular and pedagogical decisions. Each contributor works with a different proverb, folktale, or cultural story as a core text for a unique unit of their design. Along with detailed notes for the instructor, each contributor writes a reflection on the process of designing the unit with anti-racism theory as a guiding principle. This innovative volume will serve as a wonderful companion to courses within Bachelor of Education, Masters of Education, and Masters of Teaching programs across Canada and the United States.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Situating the Context of the Curriculum Set and How the Project Came to Be


Centering African Proverbs, Indigenous Folktales, and Cultural Stories in Canadian Curriculum
George J. S. Dei & Mairi McDermott

Part I: Centering Proverbs in Curriculum

Introduction to Part I: Situating the Units That Centre Proverbs and Locating the Unit Designers
George J. S. Dei & Mairi McDermott

Learning from our Elders, Extending to our Communities
Sarah Papoff

Teaching Social Values through African Proverbs
Chavon Ann Niles

Proverbs and Science/Biology Connections
Kristabelle Chan

Coming Up from the Roots
Natasha Burford

What Ibo Proverbs Teach Us about Life
Dunja Vulic

Anti-Racism Education through Cultural Narratives
Monique Chambers

Part II: Weaving Units Around Kenyan and Ghanaian Folktales

Introduction to Part II: Disrupting Dominant Knowledge Systems through Kenyan & Ghanaian Folktales
Mairi McDermott & George J. S. Dei

The Foolish Hyena and the Hare: A Decolonizing Journey through a Kenyan Short Story
Margaret Brimpong

Reclaiming Traditional Storytelling and Indigenous Knowledges
Sarah Hussain

Re/Imagining Truth(s) as Im/Possibilities
Eunice Chow

Falling for Flattery: Contemporary Cautions
Rosalie Griffith

Learning about Indigenous Storytelling Practices, Proverbs, and Folktales
Tracy Thomas

Building Healthy Relationships
Allysa Khan

George J. Sefa Dei

George J. Sefa Dei is a Professor in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Inclusive Schooling, New Perspectives on African-Centred Education in Canada, Removing the Margins, Centering African Proverbs, Indigenous Folktales, and Cultural Stories in Curriculum

Mairi McDermott

Mairi McDermott is an Assistant Professor in Curriculum and Learning at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.


"This book bridges between a theoretical resource and a teaching resource in a way that I have seldom, if ever, seen elsewhere in a single resource, connecting social justice theory on the one hand and pedagogical practice in the form of teacher-friendly units on the other. It is also unique in the way that it uses African proverbs and cultural stories as a gateway to broader cultural experiences."

"The research-to-practice link in this book is of vital importance for educators. A strength of this work is that it is based on providing a deep understanding of the transformations teachers undergo in producing decolonized, Indigenous, anti-racist, culturally relevant approaches in curriculum development."

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