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Volume 31 1991 Contents

  • Issue 1 October 1991
    • Preface

    • PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES OF GIFTED AND TALENTED AMERICAN INDIAN EDUCATION
      Stuart A. Tonemah Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 3-14

      This paper argues that standardized tests for gifted and talented students are biased toward the larger American society and that American Indian and Alaska Native students, because of their cultural differences, are overlooked and denied entrance into gifted and talented programs. In response to this finding the American Indian Research and Development, Inc. (AIRD) created the American Indian Gifted and Talented Assessment Model (AIGTAM) which utilizes processes and procedures whereby gifted and talented student candidates are nominated by parents, school teachers, community leaders, tribal leaders, peers or the students themselves. Through AIRD's summer enrichment program, Explorations In Creativity (EIC), Cooperative Learning, Exclusive Grouping, and Holistic Design were identified as "Indian learning styles." The author argues that the experiences at EIC indicate the relevancy of a culturally-specific gifted and talented differentiated curriculum for American Indians developed by American Indians is beneficial and necessary.*

    • A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE ON TRIBAL-ALASKA NATIVE GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION
      Rosemary Ackley Christensen Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 10-14

      This paper discusses the term "giftedness," and argues that the existing interpretation applies only to the White world and that it does not agree with Tribal definitions. As a result, gifted and talented children of Indian heritage are not being recognized. A cultural stance is called for in interpreting "giftedness." Niibin, a summer school administered by the Indian Education Department from 1976 to 1991, is described as an example of a gifted and talented Indian program.

    • AMERICAN INDIAN GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS: THEIR PROBLEMS AND PROPOSED SOLUTIONS
      Rockey Robbins Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 15-24

      This paper expresses the thoughts and feelings of gifted and talented students participating in a summer enrichment program, Explorations In Creativity (EIC). The author describes the struggles of identity, prejudice, and peer pressure that these students experience and must endure because they are Indian and gifted and talented. A list of issues and problems and possible solutions these students saw in American education is included along with three of their personal essays.

    • NURTURING CREATIVE/ARTISTIC GIFTEDNESS IN AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS
      Jill LaBatte Vol. 31. No. 1, pp. 28-32

      This paper discusses the importance of nurturing creative/artistic giftedness in American Indian students. Although the educational system has ignored the creative/artistic expression as gifted, research findings of educators K. Carroll, E.S. Richert, and E.P. Torrance offer teachers direction in terms of identifying creative/artistic gifted and talented students, provide alternative definitions, and present "wholistic" curriculum strategies based on brain structure. Emphasis rather than neglect of creative/artistic methods of teaching is stressed to enhance the potential of gifted and talented American Indian students.

    • CREATIVITY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RESERVATION AND URBAN AMERICAN INDIANS
      Charmaine L. Shutiva Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 33-52

      The purpose of this study was to compare creativity test scores and academic achievement of reservation and urban American Indian students and to examine the influence of culture on creativity. Subjects for the comparative study were 150 eleventh grade students representing twenty-one different tribes. Of these subjects, 28 were attending public high schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico and were classified as Urban Indians; 122 were attending public or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools on or near their respective reservations. Reservation students resided on four reservations in New Mexico. Students were administered the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), Figural Form B (F-B). Results of this study suggest that urban students are more creative than reservation students on the variables of originality, abstractness of title, resistance to closure, average, and creativity index scores. There was no significant difference between reservation and urban students on academic achievement. Also, urban students were more expressive of their ethnic heritage than reservation students as assessed in the drawings of the TTCT-F,B.

    • THROUGH NAVAJO EYES: EXAMINING DIFFERENCES IN GIFTEDNESS
      Elizabeth Ann Hartley Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 53-64

      This study compared perceptions of giftedness and talent (G/T) among parents and teachers of Navajo and Anglo children. The effects of acculturation on the responses were studied. How differences among perceptions might affect the placement of Navajo children in G/T programs is addressed. Ten subscales of G/T were used as dependent variables. Survey and interview techniques and participant observation were used to collect data in one Anglo and two Navajo communities. The survey instrument proved very reliable for the teacher groups and less so for Anglo parent respondents. Ethnographic description elucidated qualitative differences found among the teacher and the parent groups. Level of acculturation was a significant differentiating factor among responses. Two of the recommendations resulting from the study were that (1) teachers be trained in Navajo culture/values before they come to the reservation to teach, and (2) G/T programs need to use alternative methods to identify G/T Navajo students.

     

  • Issue 2 January 1992

    • PREFACE

    • DROPPING OUT AMONG AMERICAN INDIANS AND ALASKA NATIVES: A REVIEW OF STUDIES
      Karen Swisher; Michelle Hoisch Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 3-23

      Over the past two years, the Center for Indian Education at Arizona State University has completed two studies examining the dropout rate among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in grades K-12. The first, "American Indian/Alaska Native Dropout Study - 1991" examined the data available on the dropout rate nationwide for AI/AN students. The second study, sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, focused on the dropout and transfer rate of students in schools within the BIA system only. Both studies included an examination of previous research which had been published pertinent to the AI/An dropout issue. This article combines the literature discussed in both studies and presents it as a unified review of the literature. The issues of dropout rates, the reasons given for why students drop out, student transfer are all explored.

    • CONSTRUCTING FAILURE AND MAINTAINING CULTURAL IDENTITY: NAVAJO AND UTE SCHOOL LEAVERS
      Donna Deyhle Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 24-47

      A seven year ethnographic study of Navajo and Ute youth in a border reservation community analyzed such issues as leaving school, race relations, academic achievement, and culture change within the context of school and community. Data presented are from 179 dropout questionnaires, a data base of 1,489 youth tracked over a 10 year period, several hundred ethnographic interviews, and observations in schools and communities. Culturally specific factors were important in understanding why many Navajo and Ute youth left school. These included: (1) racial and economic relations in the community and school; (2) home child-rearing patterns of non-interference and early adulthood; and (3) cultural integrity and resistance.

    • THE NAVAJO AREA STUDENT DROPOUT STUDY: FINDINGS AND IMPLICATIONS
      Elizabeth A. Brandt Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 48-63

      The study was designed to answer some fundamental questions about Navajo student dropout: who drops out, how many, for what reasons, how can better data be obtained, how can students be tracked, and what can be done about the problem? Lack of comparable data across schools and districts made determination of the actual dropout rate very difficult. The study found an estimated overall dropout rate of 31% with a transfer rate of 30%. The dropout phenomenon is complex, multicausal, and can only be helped with an approach that brings together schools, families, students, and communities.

     

  • Issue 3 May 1992

    • THE AMERICAN INDIAN FEMALE DROPOUT
      Ardy Bowker Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 3-20

      Among the most serious problems confronting American Indian educators and tribal groups is that Indian children achieve the lowest educational level in school and have the highest dropout rate among all ethnic minority groups in the country. Current statistics suggest that 50% of the American Indian students currently in school will not graduate. Estimates further indicate that American Indian females have an 8% to 10% higher dropout rate than Indian males. This article reports the results of a two-year study conducted with 991 Indian females from seven Northern Plains tribal groups, five reservations, and three states. The purpose of the study was twofold: (1) to identify the factors which contribute to the educational success of American Indian females, and (2) to identify the factors which contribute to the lack of educational success for American Indian females.

    • IS CULTURAL DISCONTINUITY AN ADEQUATE EXPLANATION FOR DROPPING OUT?
      Susan Ledlow Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 21-36

      In light of the current anthropological debate on minority student schooling, this paper examined one major issue of concern in American Indian education, namely the high dropout rate for American Indian high school students. In this article it is hypothesized that much of the literature on American Indian dropouts treat the significance of cultural discontinuity between home and school as a basis for explaining the high dropout rate with little or no explicit research to prove the hypothesis. Discussion of the anthropological debate on cultural discontinuity, vis-a-vis structural determinants of schooling, further indicates how even proper application of culturally relevant curricula and pedagogy may have only limited value, and that further research from a macrostructural perspective is needed to adequately describe and ultimately explain American Indian student attrition.

    • AMERICAN INDIANS OUT OF SCHOOL. A REVIEW OF SCHOOL-BASED CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS
      Jon Reyhner Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 37-56

      American Indian students leave high school without graduating at over twice the rate of Euro-American students. The extent of the Indian student dropout problem is examined along with the theory that minority-culture students drop out of school more frequently than dominant-culture students because of cultural differences between home and school. Based on the theoretical framework of cultural discontinuity between home and school, Indian and non-Indian dropout research, plus testimony from Indian Nations at Risk Task Force hearings, seven school-based reasons are identified that push Indian students out of school. These seven reasons are large schools, uncaring/untrained teachers, passive teaching methods, inappropriate curriculum, inappropriate testing/student retention, tracked classes, and lack of parent involvement. Recommendations are made for each of the seven areas as to how schools can be changed to improve the quality of Indian education so that more Indian students will graduate from high school and more will go on to college.


    * Page numbers refer to location in the original published version of the article.
 

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