Voices of Native American Educators: Integrating History, Culture, and Language to Improve Learning Outcomes for Native American Students

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9780739183472: Voices of Native American Educators: Integrating History, Culture, and Language to Improve Learning Outcomes for Native American Students
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Voices of Native American Indian Educators: Integrating History, Culture, and Language to Improve Learning Outcomes for Native American Indian Students, edited by Sheila T. Gregory, is a comprehensive resource that provides a vivid portrait of best practices for Native American students, as experienced by Native American educators. This book is based primarily on research studies, both quantitative and qualitative, that offer new, practical strategies for teachers to improve the academic performance of Native American students. All of the contributors in this book are Native American Indian educators who have experienced success in their teaching practices by using a variety of multidisciplinary approaches in their practice of teaching. In this collection, “culture” is considered to be constantly evolving and is described as something that can both be learned and unlearned. Furthermore, people who share the same culture do not always behave in the same ways. The complexity of culture, then, is a tremendous challenge for many researchers who strive to quantitatively define the characteristics of a population, rather than contextualize through culturally relevant pedagogy. Voices of Native American Indian Educators seeks to fill this enormous gap in the literature by providing both a variety of scholarly research on best practices and a generous list of references and other resources available to teachers on Native American Indian students.

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Sheila T. Gregory, PhD is a professor of higher education and educational leadership at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia.

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Voices of Native American Educators is organized into four sections: "The History and Status of Native American Education," "Culturally Relevant Pedagogy," "Teaching Models of Cultural Competence and Context," and "Educational Strategies from Native American Educators." Twenty-eight authors contributed to 11 chapters, including one chapter each on the history of Indian education, teaching science, Indian women, adolescent drug use, using popular culture to teach traditional culture, and an after-school literacy program as well as two on college students and three on teaching mathematics. Together they strongly support the book's subtitle: Integrating History, Culture, and Language to Improve Learning Outcomes for Native American Students. Though not comprehensive, this book gives a valuable overview of how assimilationist education in public and Bureau of Indian Education schools has failed many American Indian students and the potential that lies in providing culturally relevant education. The contributors draw on a wide variety of both quantitative and qualitative research to make a compelling case that Native American students need culturally based instruction and curricula to have the best chance at bridging the cultural gap between their homes and schools becoming academically successful. Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE)

“This is an incredible resource that allows the reader to become immersed in the history, pedagogy, models, and strategies of Native education. Critical attention is given to our resilience against the forces that conspire to undermine educational aspirations among Native students and the wisdom of our ancestors.” —CHiXapkaid (Michael) Pavel, University of Oregon (CHiXapkaid (Michael) Pavel, University of Oregon)

“The age old question of how to effectively educate native children has been solved. The unveiling of this mystery was actually quite simple... they finally got around to asking Native American educators! This book by Dr. Sheila Gregory and her Native American contributors answers that profound question masterfully, like no other, and it provides educators the critical guidance and information they need to present information to native children in a most meaningful and effective way, the native way.” —Forrest S. Cuch, CEO of Ute Tribe Enterprises, LLC (Forrest S. Cuch)

“This text offers a long-awaited opportunity for enhanced professional practice that values our history and traditions as an integral part of the learning process. A must-read for pre-service and in-service teachers alike. Voices explores a broad range of topics that could inform pedagogical practice and take teachers to a greater understanding of the history, values, and traditions that have shaped our communities and our people.” —Corinne Mount Pleasant-Jetté, President, Mount Pleasant Educational Services, Inc. (Corinne Mount Pleasant-Jetté, President, Mount Pleasant Educational Services, Inc.)

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