Vol. 43, #1
FIRST NATIONS PERSPECTIVES ON TRANSFORMING THE STATUS OF CULTURE AND LANGUAGE IN SCHOOLING
One of the challenges facing Aboriginal education is how to enhance Aboriginal students’ achievement through culturally responsive pedagogies. The issue involved is not merely that of methods of teaching and learning but of acquiring the necessary tools for shaping and implementing a socially and culturally oriented curriculum that recognizes Aboriginal local resources in context and reinforces and maximizes their use in education to make school learning an integral component of the social and cultural context of Aboriginal children’s heritage. The paper is about First Nations’ perspectives, opinions and attitudes about the status of language and culture in schooling and their suggested strategies to revitalize and preserve First Nations cultures. The paper concludes that the issue involved is not merely one of cultural education of students but also of helping Euro-Canadian teachers to attain the necessary cultural tools for determining and putting into practice a socially and culturally oriented program.
AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF RACIAL CLIMATE, MULTICULTURAL SUPPORT SERVICES, AND ETHNIC FRAUD AT A PREDOMINANTLY WHITE UNIVERSITY
This study was designed to examine the relationships among perceptions of racial climate, multicultural support services, and ethnic fraud among American Indian college students attending a predominantly White state university. Thirty American Indian undergraduate students responded to a 33-item survey that included questions about their demographic characteristics. Issues of ethnic fraud seemed to be the most interesting aspect of this study, an area of research that is often neglected in higher education. The analyses help to gauge the progress that higher education institutions have made toward providing access and equal opportunity for all Americans. Results reveal areas in the interaction between American Indian and non-Indian students in which institutional leadership can be exercised effectively to ensure a campus that values diversity.
Vol. 43, #2
LEARNING AND STUDY PRACTICES OF POSTSECONDARY AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKA NATIVE STUDENTS
This study examined the learning and study practices of postsecondary American Indian/Alaska Native students attending community colleges in the southwest. Using a survey design, students completed the Kagan Matching Familiar Figures Test, the Schmeck, Ribich, and Ramanaiah Inventory of Learning Processes, and the Weinstein, Palmer, and Schulte Learning and Study Strategies Inventory. Results revealed that students had, at best, average learning and study skill abilities in and outside the classroom. Out of the 14 skills assessed, only four were identified to be at the “moderate or average” ability level. These included information processing, self-testing, use of study aids, methodical study, and elaborative processing. Three of these skill areas bordered “low/moderate” ability. These included level of motivation, ability to select main ideas, and fact retention. Six of these skill areas were identified to be at the “low” ability level. These skills included attitude, use of test strategies, concentration, level of anxiety, time management, and deep processing. Based on the results, recommendations are provided to institutions and faculty for facilitating the improvement of these learning and study strategies.
DOES BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL MEAN I HAVE TO BECOME WHITE?
This study examined the experiences of nine American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in medical school with the purpose of gaining information about how to support students once they enrolled in medical school. In-depth interviews conducted while the participants were in medical school were used to generate data that were analyzed using grounded theory. How students reacted to professional socialization emerged as a key element in understanding their experiences. The study found that participants demonstrated resistance to the professional socialization process, which they resolved by accepting their roles as physician on their own terms.
NATIVE ALASKAN DROPOUTS IN WESTERN ALASKA: SYSTEMIC FAILURE IN NATIVE ALASKAN SCHOOLS
The number of Native Alaska secondary students choosing not to complete high school is of great concern to educators and Native communities. In this study, schools in small communities throughout western Alaska were observed while teachers and dropouts were interviewed concerning their perceptions of the education process. It became very clear that there was something fundamentally wrong with the systems of education in western Alaska. Teachers and administrators frequently leave after a very short time. Students leave the school systems in large numbers and communities are not happy with the education their young people receive. In some cases, the school systems do not need an incremental change approach to education – they need to examine an entirely new paradigm of schooling.
Book Review - Native American Picture Books of Change: The Art of Historic Children's Editions, by Patricia Etter, Curator, Labriola National American Indian Data Center, University Libraries, Arizona State University, pp. 46-48.
Vol. 43, #3
INFORMATION PROCESSING PATTERNS OF POSTSECONDARY AMERICAN INDIAN/ALASKA NATIVE STUDENTS
In the last of a three-part series, this study examined the information processing patterns of postsecondary American Indian/Alaska Native students attending community and tribal colleges in the Southwest. Using a survey design, students completed the Kolb Learning Style Inventory, the Briggs and Myers Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Oltman, Raskin and Witkin Group Embedded Figures Test. Three major results were revealed from the study. First, the students described their learning as a combination of learning by thinking and learning by watching. This is the same cognitive processing pattern found in elementary and secondary students. Second, the ‘ISTJ’ from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator best described the personality influences on learning for these students. These individuals are practical, orderly, logical, and earn success by concentration and thoroughness. Finally, the results suggest that these students can draw equally from both analytical (field-independent) and global (field-dependent) forms of information processing.
CONSTRUCTING MEANING TO THE INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
This study investigated the complex meaning of the Indian boarding school experience. Using grounded theory methodology, a multi-member research team conducted and analyzed interviews and observations with 30 alumni of various Indian boarding schools, and 16 students and seven staff in one Indian boarding school currently operating in Oklahoma. Five main factors emerged that appear central to constructing meaning to the Indian boarding school experience. These factors were: (1) background context, (2) perception of reasons for attending, (3) severity, (4) coping during experience, and (5) coping after experience. Explanations and excerpts for the data are provided to illustrate each of the factors. Potential use of these factors to practitioners working with survivors of Indian boarding school abuses in counseling and therapy is discussed.
PLAYING GAMES OR LEARNING SCIENCE? AN INQUIRY INTO NAVAJO CHILDREN’S SCIENCE LEARNING
Consideration of the subtleties in a group of Navajo children’s science learning activities provides us with some useful ways of viewing those activities. It also more clearly establishes the elements to consider in valuing or not valuing the use of these kinds of activities that I am calling “games” and other possible kinds of student inquiry during science lessons. These views allow us to go beyond generalizations such as “the students were actively engaged” or “the students cooperated well” or “the activity was hands-on” in describing students’ activities and in making judgments about their value. While many educators undoubtedly already consider such perspectives in an intuitive way, articulating these constructs explicitly can help researchers, teachers, and curriculum designers use the perspectives more effectively in their research, planning and teaching. Understanding the differences inherent in how children learn science opens up questions of the responsibilities of teachers and of a dominant society in valuing other demonstrations of learning. It also causes us to reflect on larger policy issues. This reflection leads us to questions of whether or not the pathways to a science, which has traditionally been a White male enterprise, might not remain closed to those who are not schooled in the dominant society manner.