george deiGhanaian-born, University of Toronto Professor, George Dei has just released four new books: The first is Teaching Africa published by Springer, New York [2010] which offers critical perspectives to the study, learning and teaching of Africa and the African experiences. The book [with a Foreword by Professor Molefi Asante of Temple University] challenges problematic portrayals of the African experience. It provides critical insights to understanding the complexities, differences, as well as the shared experiences and histories of African peoples. Written from an African-centred perspective, the book addresses distorted Eurocentric views of Africa, and takes up key questions about the teaching methods and methodologies relating to Africa from an Indigenous African knowledge base. Dei addresses the need for African peoples to reclaim their past, histories, and also interrogate and contest the present, so as to design their own futures.

The second book, Learning to Succeed [published by Teneo Press, New York, 2010] comes out of his longitudinal research with ‘high academic achievers’ in the Canadian school system (high school, college and university). The book is relevant given the lessons their schooling success offer in the struggle for educational excellence among all students. The book is a collection of pieces on the study of high academic achievers written with his co-researchers at the university on the Canadian school system. The essays point to the varying conceptions of “high academic achievers” from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds of ‘success’ and ‘failure’, to the learners’ understanding of the role that education and academic success play in enhancing social opportunity, and individual life chances.

The two other books: Fanon and Education: Thinking Through Pedagogical Possibilities published by Peter Lang, New York 2010 [co-edited with Marlon Simmons]; and Fanon and the Counter-Insurgency of Education. also published by Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2010 (sole edited by Dei) look at the implications of the ideas of Frantz Fanon for rethinking education [broadly defined] in North America. The books [the other Fanon book ‘Fanon and the Counterinsurgency of Education’, has Foreword by Ato Sekyi-Otu] take up the challenge of an anti-colonial reading of Fanon, to broach questions of identity, difference and belonging, and the implication for schooling and education. In particular, the two books on Fanon highlight the limitations of Black/African bodies continually seeking currency and validation through a negotiation of White colonial spaces.


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