Purdue University Graduate School

Towards the devlopment of the AOTS Framework

Reason: I want to publish out of my dissertation.





until file(s) become available


posted on 2023-04-21, 20:04 authored by Araba A Z Osei-TutuAraba A Z Osei-Tutu
Reading this dissertation means joining me on an 8-year journey that began with my desire to understand the lives and decisions of African immigrants in relation to retention and transmission of our native languages and cultures. The Akan say that ntontom pe n'ase fi ako, na nframa ebo no. Wherefore, like the mosquito propelled by the wind blowing me towards my desired direction, I sat under the shade of the heritage tree as I pondered how to get there. The journey became a quest to find an approach or methodology that will not just talk about African languages and cultural retention and transmission, but also center histories, worldviews, and philosophies while actively encouraging these values. Thus, approaching storytelling from the African oral tradition, I arrived at the development of the African Oral Traditional Storytelling (AOTS) Framework as an ethical and culturally centered approach to studying with African peoples. Because I wanted to go far and not fast, two heads (African families in the Midwest) collaborated with me by sharing through our African oral traditions and storytelling, our lived experiences of how we (as parents) navigate usage, retention and transmission of our living native languages and cultures while in the U.S. Emergent in this approach to storying, was the AOTS Framework. Now, what was needed was a description of the framework retrospective of the shared stories; what does it look like? What did/will she do, and how will she birth a transformative and relevant approach to satisfy that hunger for African histories, worldviews, indigenous knowledges and philosophies in research? The AOTS Framework, through African oral traditional storytelling, brings to the fore the relevant and essential role that African philosophies, worldviews, languages, and cultures play in understanding African peoples' experiences. Our stories reveal how our African worldviews and languages (embedded with our indigenous knowledge) inform how we navigate decision on 1) building a community of like-minded people from the continent, same country and ethnic group; 2) decolonizing our minds about the value of African languages, cultures, and worldviews: building a sense of pride in our indigenous ways and teaching them to our children as a resistance to neocolonialism and global erasure; 3) cultural, linguistic, and identity reconceptualization, revitalization, redefinition, and resistance; 4) conscious effort to use native language in the home; and 5) racialized experiences that influence decisions about heritage language retention and transmission. With that, we stand on the shoulders of postcolonial and decolonial theory, as we move through postcolonial indigenous methodologies in resisting imperialism and coloniality in education, research and language in relation to African peoples. Additionally, the AOTS Framework is the arable land that is not selective in growing varied linguistic, cultural, and philosophical perspectives of African peoples in research albeit challenges in relation to transitioning oral techniques into writing. As a framework, our desire and interests in learning with African peoples is not a question-and-answer approach. Instead, it is a collaborative, communal approach where the privileged gatherer shares in co-creating stories, meanings, and understandings with African peoples.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Curriculum and Instruction

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jake Burdick

Additional Committee Member 2

Judy Lysaker

Additional Committee Member 3

Nina Asher

Additional Committee Member 4

Nadine Dolby