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ERIC Number: ED386757
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-25
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Tribal College: A Model for Western Institutions.
Thurston, Kay
Mainstream educational institutions could improve their success rate with Native American students by emulating strategies used in tribal colleges. It is a well-documented fact that Western institutions are extremely unsuccessful in retaining Native American students. Research focusing specifically on composition courses at the University of New Mexico found that Native Americans are two-and-a-half times more likely to drop or fail those courses than their Anglo counterparts. One of the main factors in the high dropout rate is financial difficulty; another factor is the Native American student's need for family contact and support. Navajo educators at Navajo Community College (NCC) in Arizona, have been sensitive to student needs--developmental writing class size has been kept to 15 students, and 3 separate developmental writing classes have been offered. The college also familiarizes Western instructors with the students' cultural background and the historical context in which teaching takes place. Particularly emphasized are the tribal stories--or at least the first of 12 levels of understanding the stories. In earlier times, White educators tried to eradicate Navajo culture and negate Navajo ways of knowing. The traditional Navajo cultural model, when followed, produces balance and harmony for all of creation. Many writing instructors at NCC (1) use reading and writing topics relevant to students' lives; (2) do less lecturing and more small group work; (3) experiment with portfolios which include community projects; and (4) look for ways to acknowledge different rhetorical styles. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A