ERIC Number: ED283654
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Teaching Navajo Language and Culture at Dzilth Na O Dith Hle Community School. A History, Analysis and Recommendation.
Howard, Roy E.
The Navajo tribe adopted a policy in 1985 that encourages all schools with Navajo students to teach Navajo language and culture in addition to the regular curriculum. A review of the recent studies and literature reveals that most support the concept of bilingual/bicultural education in one form or another. The consensus seems to be that teacher's methods are most effective when the teacher is sensitive to the cultural perspective of the student. Although bilingual/bicultural teaching strategies may be desirable, their widespread use on the reservation may yet take a few more years. The obstacles include: (1) insufficient number of bilingual teachers; (2) lack of training in bilingual methods; (3) uneven support from teachers, administration, and communities; (4) unreliable federal support; and (5) lack of materials and materials development centers. Discussions with staff members and parents at Dzlith Na O Dith Hle Community School (DCS) reveal a wide range of attitudes towards bilingual education. Approaches that may be viable at DCS include: (1) form a Navajo club with volunteer students and staff pioneering methods and materials; (2) hire a resource teacher; (3) seek Title VII funding to train and pay bilingual aides; (4) encourage teachers and aides to develop bilingual/cultural resources. (JHZ)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian History, Biculturalism, Bilingual Education, Bilingual Education Programs, Bilingual Teachers, Change Strategies, Cultural Education, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Indian Relationship, Inservice Teacher Education, Navajo, Program Descriptions, Program Implementation, School Role, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A