ERIC Number: ED240414
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Navajo Youth and Early School Withdrawal: A Case Study. NCBR Reports.
Chan, Kenyon S.; Osthimer, Beth
The school dropout problem among American Indian youths is severe and complicated by the heterogeneous nature of the population and its unique social, cultural, and political history. To investigate the educational experiences of high risk Navajo youths in the areas of language minority status, traditionalism, critical markers, distance to school, and future orientation, 24 adolescents (13 males, 11 females), representing three subgroups: high school dropouts (N=6); high school seniors with no future educational plans (N=9); and college bound high school seniors (N=9), were interviewed. Interview topics included family, school history, language profiles, socialization experiences, perceptions, future plans, and work history. School and community records were also obtained. An analysis of the results showed that students whose families encouraged the development of English appeared to be more likely to do well in school and to graduate. Successful youths came from moderate homes that valued many of the Navajo traditions while adhering to many modern notions. Dropouts perceived themselves as more contemporary. In studying critical markers, student record keeping was found to be lacking as students moved between schools, making identification and planning for "high risk" students difficult. Distance to school and transportation problems affected school attendance, motivation, and the ability to go to school and to keep up with school work. Finally, college bound students had concrete future goals and plans, while graduates had some future goals and plans. Dropouts had little future orientation and no plans to improve their unemployment status. (Case studies of the six dropouts present a qualitative picture of the research findings.) (BL)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Adolescents, American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, American Indians, Career Planning, College Bound Students, Distance, Dropout Characteristics, Educationally Disadvantaged, Family Environment, High Risk Students, Language Dominance, Navajo, Secondary Education, Student Educational Objectives
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Bilingual Research, Los Alamitos, CA.