ERIC Number: ED300151
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Apr-14
Teaching Native Language and Culture in the Indian Schools.
Howard, Roy E.
This summary of a dissertation reports results of a study of teachers providing bilingual education at a Navajo border town school. History, demography and geography, socioeconomics, and politics all affect cultural knowledge to be taught and teachers must study these subjects. However, teaching Navajo language and culture in a bordertown school may require much more than this academic knowledge and knowledge of language and culture although these are prerequisites. Teachers must also be aware of family education histories, students' home situations, the importance of English for much economic success, and school politics and policies on bilingual education. Positive cross culture experiences and positive experiences with bilingual education were reported by a number of teachers who were willing to teach Navajo language and culture instruction. Teachers who believe in the value of bilingual methods are enthusiastic about using them. An appropriate training program for teachers of schools with bicultural policies might include learning both content and methods in the languages and cultures involved, training for attitude development, the development of a personal philosophy of bicultural education, and experiencing cross-cultural understanding of self and others. Teachers from both Navajo- and English-speaking cultures have a contribution to make to such programs. Reservation teachers must resolve for themselves the conflict between parents' tendency to want linguistic and cultural assimilation for their children and the school policy of bicultural integration. Appendices include a partial Navajo materials source list and information on how teachers have implemented their own ideas for teaching language and culture. (DHF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A