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Colonialism, Resistance and Independence: A Study of Modern African Nations

Kirsten Bowman JD
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(725)
A comparative study of the carving up of the African continent by European powers, the people of Africa, the independence movements of modern African nations, neocolonialism, and the challenges faced from colonization through present day.

Class experience

US Grade 8 - 11
Students should leave this course with both added content and analytical abilities.  They will have gained knowledge in the historical events of colonialism on the African continent and the independence movements that followed.  As well, they will gain a deeper understanding of each of the particular case studies.  Students will also work their critical thinking skills in their ability to comparatively study situations in order to find commonalities and differences between the countries history, means of accessing independence, neocolonial involvement and the particular situational outcome.  
As a human rights attorney for the United Nations I have worked on issues dealing with African colonialism and the modern day geopolitical challenges for most of my career.  I have lived in and travelled to much of the continent during my work and have engaged first hand with much of the material which will be taught.  As well, I have been teaching on the topic of human rights, humanitarian and democracy issues at the university level for many years.  In the past three years I have successfully moved those topics into a younger pedagogy and have been teaching at the middle and high school level on topics such as the Holocaust, genocide, refugees and human rights.  
Homework Offered
Readings and audio visual learning materials will be assigned as well as discussion questions or other means of preparing students for class each week. There will be a final project presentation which is due at the end of the 12 week course.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
If requested, grades and assessments are available. All assignments must be completed in order to receive grade or assessment.
Grades Offered
If requested, grades and assessments are available. All assignments must be completed in order to receive grade or assessment.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
Much of the learning happens in my classes during targeted discussions. Sensitive topics around race, nationality and community may be included in the conversation.  As in all my courses, I believe in open and constructive dialogue.  This requires a commitment to respectful speaking and listening, to well reasoned factual materials that are sourced well.  Students need to be prepared to engage and listen respectfully in discussion and debate.  Sensitive topics such as genocide, war crimes, disease, horrible atrocities, dictatorship and the complexities of the cold war will be discussed.  These topics are essential to an educated and well reasoned discussion and will be addressed factually, not exploitatively, and will include primary sourced material as much as possible.  Parents should determine whether their students are prepared for this type of material to be presented prior to enrolling in the course. 
The source material for this course will be vast and varied.  Primary source material is prioritized and will include such things as historical maps, UN Conventions, original bi-lateral treaties, conventions, the writings of the colonizers, first hand accounts of victims of atrocities, interviews with freedom fighters, propaganda films of the British explaining the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya etc. Secondary source materials may also be pulled from, but will not be relied upon in the same manner as the primary sources.  Secondary sources may include for example readings from "The Last Slave Market" a well researched accounting of the Zanzibar slave trade, "Dictatorland" which provides an overview of Zimbabwe's challenges from independence through the early 2000s, or "The Key to My Neighbors House" which provides a well researched accounting of the Rwandan genocide.  Biographical materials of various leaders will also be provided.   
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(725)
I am a human rights lawyer by profession and a university professor and mom by passion. I have my JD with a specialization in international law and completed my PhD in international law in 2023. 

I have travelled the world working for the UN as a... 
Group Class


for 12 classes
1x per week, 12 weeks
50 min

Completed by 11 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 13-18
3-15 learners per class

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