ERIC Number: ED394760
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
A Rural Special Education Teacher Training Program: Successful Adaptations.
Prater, Greg; And Others
The Rural Special Education Program (RSEP), a partnership between Northern Arizona University (NAU) and Kayenta Unified School District (KUSD), provides training for preservice special education teachers to work with Native American students and their families. To date, the program has provided training for 63 preservice special education teachers, of which approximately half are Native American and reside in Kayenta. Currently, there are 15 students in the RSEP; 9 students are Native Americans who work as paraprofessionals for KUSD, the other 6 students are non-Natives that have previously taken classes on the main campus of NAU. The program requires university students to live on the Navajo reservation and receive practical classroom experience in KUSD schools. Informal surveys and phone interviews were conducted with current and former RSEP participants regarding major challenges of the program, adaptations students made to overcome challenges, and suggestions for future RSEP students. Respondents stated that living conditions, distance from families and major cities, lack of entertainment, and adapting to cultural differences were the major challenges of the program. Students adapted by learning to get along and respect one another, being flexible, car-pooling and planning trips to metropolitan areas, taking advantage of entertainment available on the reservation, and accepting the culture on the reservation. Suggestions for future RSEP students include ensuring adequate finances for living away from campus, respecting both the Navajo people and the land, and taking advantage of learning from the Navajo culture. (Contains two references.) (LP)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, American Indian Reservations, College School Cooperation, Cross Cultural Training, Cultural Awareness, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Navajo (Nation), Preservice Teacher Education, Program Evaluation, Rural Areas, Special Education Teachers, Student Adjustment, Teacher Education Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A