ERIC Number: ED339585
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
An Abstract of "A Study of the Native American Early Childhood Education Curriculum 'The Circle Never Ends.'"
Luellen, Janice E.
This paper summarizes an ethnographic study conducted in 1989-1990 assessing the effectiveness of the Denver Indian Center's preschool program in preparing Native American children for the transition to public school. The Center, a fully licensed child care facility, serves an intertribal community of approximately 18,200 Native Americans. The development of literacy, pre-math and other cognitive skills, fine and gross motor skills, social emotional growth, and knowledge of Native American culture is stressed through the curriculum. The researcher, as a nonparticipant observer for the school year, recorded teacher's and children's activities and teacher child interactions. The public school teachers were interviewed to assess their evaluation of the Native American students' achievement. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills, administered by the classroom teachers, provided information about Native American students' achievment in kindergarten, first, and second grade. Results of the study indicate that in kindergarten these Native American students were socially withdrawn and struggling academically. By first and second grade the students became more verbal and some chose to share their cultural heritage with others. Results of a questionnaire revealed that parents were supportive of the preschool curriculum. The study implies the need for the involvement of Native Americans in their children's education in order to foster a cultural identity and to promote awareness of the developmental needs of young children. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Abstract of a Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Denver.