Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Dr. Michelle Marcus


This thesis presents a Social Studies curriculum guide on Africa, specifically, the Dogon people of Mali. It contains a detailed outline of possible curricular units on The Geography of Africa and Mali; Traditional Cultural Practices of the Dogon; and the Dogon Today. Related lesson plans explore ways to teach and learn about the Dogon through age-appropriate primary and secondary sources, especially by reading Dogon stories, looking at Dogon art, architecture, and ceremonies, and listening to Dogon music. These resources are discussed at length in the Annotated List of Classroom Resources section of this thesis. The curriculum also includes a step-by-step lesson for a self-guided visit to the African galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and suggests pre and post-museum activities.

The purpose of this study aims to provide students with the time and space necessary to solidify a base of knowledge about a specific group of people. Ultimately, a sense of specificity and authenticity will be developed about a continent of people that are usually studied as a single homogeneous and unchanging whole.

The concentration on the arts aims to help the students see and hear the distinctions that exist among different groups of people within Africa; helping students segue from concrete to abstract thinking; gaining more sophisticated ideas about why societies develop certain artistic styles and traditions; and how art becomes meaningful only when studied in its proper cultural, spiritual, and geographical context.


Museum education (Program of study)

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