ERIC Number: ED094918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974-May
Reference Count: N/A
Special Problems of Reading Comprehension in the Education of Eskimo and Indian Children.
Griese, Arnold A.
The paper endeavors to delineate more clearly the special reading comprehension problem of the Alaskan Eskimo and Indian. Reading comprehension is essentially a cognitive process -- the ability to engage in rigorous abstract thinking. A number of formal anthropological reports indicate that Alaskan natives, especially the Eskimo, are deficient in the ability to do abstract thinking. The anthropological perspective, however, also indicates that Alaskan natives were directed toward concrete problem solving before any significant acculturation took place. Their harsh environment allowed no leisure class to arise -- an essential requirement for the evolution of a written language. Under such circumstances, a cultural pattern evolved which focused on less sophisticated aspects of thinking and made it difficult for the child of that culture to succeed in a Western educational system which emphasizes the interpretatn of language symbols, especially in reading. The problem is one of moving the pupil who experiences reading difficulty because his mental responses involve concrete problem situations, to making these responses when confronted with more abstract situations. Two suggestions are given to overcome this: (1) the development of culturally oriented reading material which would also enhance the Native student's self-image; and (2) the use of inquiry with the stories read by the pupil or read to him by the teacher, i.e., a followup procedure using questions, discussions, and related activities. (KM)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Acculturation, American Indians, Childrens Literature, Cognitive Processes, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Influences, Environmental Influences, Eskimos, Material Development, Reading Comprehension, Relevance (Education), Self Concept, Speeches
Not available separately, see RC008075
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska