ERIC Number: ED176913
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug-25
Reference Count: 0
Rural Navajo Youth: A Challenge for Resource Development. Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station Paper No. 284.
Christopherson, Victor A.; Dingle, Steven F.
Caught between the Anglo and Navajo worlds, the Navajo youth of Arizona are at home in neither. Material rewards beckon from the Anglo world, but high schools have not provided the educational background to enable the youth to secure those rewards. Instead the schools have merely created in the students a discontent with traditional Reservation ways. Because they fit into neither culture, Navajo youths have created a "youth culture" of their own, complete with teenage gangs, alcohol, drug abuse, and venereal disease. Academic skills alone will not help these young people to better their economic opportunies; they must also have training in certain job related skills since behavioral traits common to the Navajo culture (e.g. downcast eyes before a stranger, lack of assertiveness, reluctance to take initiative, and seeming lack of ambition) place Navajo youth at a disadvantage in the aggressive Anglo job world. A proposed model 12 month high school with a large, highly trained professional staff would offer training that would prepare students for both of their worlds. Students would receive training in academic and vocational skills to help them secure and hold jobs, and courses in Navajo culture and tradition to assist them to gain insight and pride in their Navajo heritage. This report discusses the social competence of Navajo youth, their educational systems, parents' perceptions on raising children, the Navajo Way, economic considerations, and trends in government policy. (DS)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian Reservations, American Indians, Cultural Background, Cultural Education, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Improvement, Educational Needs, Educationally Disadvantaged, Employment Interviews, Employment Opportunities, Interpersonal Competence, Job Skills, Job Training, Parent Attitudes, Parent Influence, Rural Youth, Secondary Education, Social Behavior, Unemployment, Youth
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Arizona Univ., Tucson. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Identifiers: Navajo (Nation)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Burlington, Vermont, August 25, 1979)