ERIC Number: ED362341
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct-22
Reference Count: N/A
Educational Reform and American Indian Cultures.
For 500 years, European-Americans have attempted to change and assimilate American Indian peoples through various forms of education. Attempts by well-meaning groups to reform Indian education have generally ignored the cultural validation necessary for American Indian children to succeed in American schools. As a result, Indian children frequently are at risk of school failure. Organized in chronological order, this paper reviews historical efforts to acculturate American Indian peoples through education. The first section includes missionary education of Native Americans during the colonial period, Indian students at early institutions of higher education, missionary motivation and failure, and Choctaw development of their own school system offering bilingual and cultural education. The second section covers federal government responsibility for Indian education, coercive Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools that took Indian children from their families, the Meriam report criticizing such schools, the "progressive" notion of a common culture disseminated through public schooling, and relevant federal legislation from 1934 to 1975. The final section discusses potential educational reforms that Native peoples themselves are demonstrating or proposing. These reforms and efforts include Indian participation in educational decision making, parental involvement, tribal activities that honor educational achievement, recruitment of promising Indian students to higher education (particularly teacher education), programs to help Indian teacher aides to become teachers, and culturally relevant curriculum at all levels. Research needs related to American Indian education are discussed. (Contains 29 references.) (KS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Arizona State Univ., Tempe.; American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA.