This research questions current taken-for-granted meanings given to school, education, teaching and curriculum from an African/African American perspective. This inquiry is based on my experiences as an African American woman curriculum theorist committed to the education of African American youth. Drawing on the lifework of Sojourner Truth, a nineteenth century African American woman abolitionist and human rights activist, this work seeks to explore aspects of both African/African American-centered education and curriculum theory as a means of informing understandings of school, education, teaching and curriculum. My research question is: How does Sojourner Truth inform curriculum theory?
This inquiry is a self-exploration and self-evaluation from African/African American-centered education through curriculum theory inspired by the call of Sojourner Truth. Referencing literature relative to Sojourner Truth, African/African American-centered education and curriculum theory, this dissertation makes connections between Truth’s lived experiences and its relevance to African/African American-centered education and curriculum theory. Based on Sojourner Truth’s African/African American world view as well as my own, I developed call-and-response in the context of I~We as my methodology which honors the communion, community, and communication of All-That-Exists. Using this as well as autobiographical methods, I explored an African world view, African/African American-centered education, curriculum theory as well as spirituality in education.
The results of this inquiry suggest: 1) The role of spirituality in education needs to be reexamined so that the spirit of life can become the focus of school, education, teaching, and curriculum. 2) An African/African American world view of life is a guide, source, and resource for school, education, teaching, and curriculum; 3) To challenge limited, static contemporary approaches to learning, so-journeying is an authentic, organic process of and approach to learning which reflects learning as lifelong and rooted in life; 4) Following the belief that human beings are spiritual beings having a human experience, education necessitates creating sacred space.