ERIC Number: ED381310
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Benefits of Cultural Immersion Activities in a Special Education Teacher Training Program.
Minner, Sam; And Others
The Rural Special Education Project (RSEP) is a school-based, special education teacher preparation program located on the Navajo Reservation. The program, which is a partnership between Northern Arizona University and Kayenta Unified School District, immerses Anglo participants in Navajo culture and heightens their awareness of cross-cultural and linguistic barriers to teaching and learning. About half of participants are Anglo American and half are Native American. RSEP prepares future teachers for work on the reservation. Native participants share their traditions with non-Native participants, who keep a record of taboos and cultural beliefs that could result in misunderstandings in the classroom. Among the 18 participants during the 1994-95 school year, both Native and non-Native students felt that they had benefitted from the program and would be more confident in the classroom. Anglo American students had experienced what it is like to be a minority, had adapted to a slower-paced simpler lifestyle, and felt that they would understand their Navajo students better. Native American students were able to take classes without relocating away from their families, and had gained a new perspective on Anglo culture. RSEP brings two cultures together in a positive way and promotes cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity. (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, Anglo Americans, College School Cooperation, Cross Cultural Training, Cultural Awareness, Disabilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Intercultural Communication, Navajo (Nation), Preservice Teacher Education, Special Education Teachers, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Kayenta Unified School District AZ; Native Americans; Northern Arizona University
Note: In: Reaching to the Future: Boldly Facing Challenges in Rural Communities. Conference Proceedings of the American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) (Las Vegas, Nevada, March 15-18, 1995); see RC 020 016.