ERIC Number: ED308028
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Malaise of the Spirit: A Case Study.
This case study describes an experienced high school teacher's difficulties in an Alaskan town with severe tensions between Caucasian and Eskimo students and between community members and teachers. This "teaching case" helps preservice teachers understand the complex, ambiguous situations which arise in rural teaching. The limitations of scientific rules and principles are especially obvious in rural Alaska schools. Teachers, typically Caucasian outsiders, must decide whether research-based knowledge derived from mainstream situations applies to small cross-cultural classrooms, and must think through issues related to their role and position in a small, culturally different community. Part I describes a classroom fight between a Caucasian and an Eskimo student which triggered the teacher's realization and analysis of the following school and community problems: (1) consistently lower grades for Native students compared to Caucasians despite apparent parity in standardized test profiles; (2) low self-esteem and motivation among Native students; (3) constant griping by faculty; (4) lack of mutual support among teachers; (5) feelings of powerlessness in principal; (6) poor community self-image; and (7) distrust and bad feelings between community members and teachers. Part II describes the actions the teacher took and their outcomes. This design allows students to read and discuss the problem situation without knowing its resolution. The report discusses the purposes and use of teaching cases, and includes general questions to focus student reflection and discussion, background information on the town and high school, and information on six motivational factors. (SV)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, Case Studies, Community Problems, Critical Thinking, Cultural Differences, Preservice Teacher Education, Problem Solving, Public Schools, Racial Relations, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, Secondary Education, Student Motivation, Student Problems, Teacher Influence, Teacher Morale, Teacher Response
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Learner; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Students; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Alaska Univ., Fairbanks.
Identifiers - Location: Alaska