This report details the overall school experience for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students. Included are discussions of the Native student and information about where Native students live and attend school. Data showing the number of students in specific states is provided, as well as information about which states have the largest populations of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students. Policy recommendations are further discussed in this report, including: providing Native students with access to a rigorous curriculum, expert teachers, and adequate distribution of resources. Additional recommendations are to increase the voices of Native peoples and their participation in the work of schools, and make schools more culturally relevant places for Native children.
This article explores teacher evaluations of researcher-endorsed instructional strategies employed by 16 middle school teachers in Florida to address the developmental and educational needs of their students. The results of a six-point ratings survey to assess the effectiveness of ten instructional practices (case studies; cooperative learning; dual language printed materials; field trips; guest speakers representing the cultures of the students; inviting parents to visit and participate in classroom activities; peer tutoring; role playing to solve problems; using alternative assessments; and use of visuals) administered to the teachers resulted in the identification of four practices and strategies being rated as the “most effective” in diverse classrooms.
From the report abstract: “Research and related literature were reviewed to summarize evidence on the effectiveness of different instructional practices for helping Native American students meet standards. In English language arts, 16 reports were reviewed. In mathematics, 8 reports were reviewed. Findings were mixed for the effectiveness of teaching Indigenous language and literacy first, followed by English literacy and bilingualism. In some content areas, Native American students participating in these programs met grade- level expectations; in some areas, they did not. Findings were indeterminate with regard to the effectiveness of culturally congruent practices for Native American student achievement in reading and mathematics. Promising practices were identified, such as successful collaboration among community members, teachers, researchers, and teacher education faculty for creating culturally congruent classrooms with an emphasis on developing language and thought, but causal conclusions could not be drawn about the effectiveness of these conditions for helping students meet standards.”
This article compares beliefs about successful student retention strategies between American Indian/Alaska Native students and postsecondary institutional representatives. While institutional representatives identified financial support as a primary motivator for college completion, AI/AN students identified the desire to live up to family expectations as a high persistence factor. AI/AN students also identified campus-based supports that create “community” as another factor supporting persistence. Both students and institutional representatives agreed that a lack of academic preparation from K-12 schooling create barriers for students once enrolled in a university.
The author makes three recommendations for supporting and retaining AI/AN students: create programs that support AI/AN students in maintaining a strong connection between their schools and their tribal communities; provide social and financial supports for students who are single parents or those who have families; and provide academic assistance through peer mentoring programs that connect AI/AN students to one another.
This qualitative study examines the experiences and perceptions of ten gifted Dine (Navajo) students from low-income families who received full scholarships to attend a university-based summer residential program. The effects of the residential enrichment program on these students is explored. Interviews revealed five major themes regarding participation: affirming social interactions with teachers and peers; life-changing experiences; positive academic experiences; excitement and motivation; and challenges met. When provided with opportunities in advanced classes that interested them, gifted Dine youth from low-income families had positive academic and social-emotional experiences.
The author of this article reviews theories, research, and models of the learning styles of American Indian/Alaska Native students, suggesting that they generally learn in ways characterized by social/affective emphasis, harmony, holistic perspectives, expressive creativity, and nonverbal communication. Native learning styles are strongly influenced by language, culture, and heritage and are “different,” but not deficient, according to the author. Implications for instruction, curricula, assessment, and future research are discussed.