ERIC Number: ED343763
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Parental Participation in Elementary and Secondary Education for American Indian and Alaska Native Students.
Butterfield, Robin; Pepper, Floy
Home and family are important predictors of student attitude and achievement. However, the coercive assimilation policies of the past have left a legacy of barriers between schools and Native parents. Parent participation in schools goes beyond a supportive role and includes activities influencing decision making. Key issues for Native parents include attitudes of teachers and other staff, school building conditions and learning environment, alienation of students and parents from school, misunderstanding by the school of extended family dynamics, and the sparsity and cultural isolation of urban American Indians. Additional community and family factors inhibiting parental involvement include dysfunctional families, poverty, illiteracy, and drug and alcohol abuse. According to research, parent participation in any form improves parent attitudes and behavior, as well as student achievement, attendance, motivation, self-esteem, and behavior. A literature review describes Native cultural influences on student learning, traditional values, child rearing practices, learning styles, and self-esteem issues. Effective activity-oriented model programs are discussed that improve personal relationships between parents and students or teachers. Federal legislation is described that encourages local school districts to consult with Native parent groups. Strategies are outlined, in which schools begin to change their images to centers of advocacy for parents and children, and state and federal agencies encourage the participation of Native parents. This paper contains 100 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Indian Nations At Risk Task Force.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Indian Nations At Risk Task Force Commissioned Papers. See RC 018 612.