ERIC Number: ED343769
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Gifted and Talented American Indian and Alaska Native Students.
Native American tribes have a critical need for effective leadership, which can be found in the brightest of their youth. However, the focus of federal and state Native programs has been to provide remedial education. Historically, Native students at federal boarding schools did not perform at high levels because of low teacher expectations, little opportunity, and peer pressure. Conformity to mainstream norms is still a problem for Native students who struggle with being Native and gifted, as well as with poverty, isolation, and the usual identity problems of adolescence. Within the school system, the major barrier to Native participation in gifted programs is assessment procedures that are biased racially, ethnically, and culturally. The extensive reliance on biased standardized tests effectively precludes the identification of gifted students who have experiential deprivations or limited English language development. A multicultural or culture-specific approach to identification would use multiple criteria that assess acquired skills, tribal and cultural understanding, human and personal qualities, and aesthetic abilities. Nineteen gifted and talented projects and programs for Native students are described. The scarcity of such programs makes program effectiveness essential. The Native community must be involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating the program. More Native teachers are needed to teach this student population, to conduct training programs for educators and parents, and to encourage parent involvement in gifted programs. This paper contains over 100 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Indian Nations At Risk Task Force.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Indian Nations At Risk Task Force Commissioned Papers. See RC 018 612.