ERIC Number: ED421304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-9
Reference Count: N/A
Inside Perspectives: An Analysis of a Public School Program in a Rural Alaskan Community.
Thiebaux, Raananna L.
This paper examines the perceptions of educators, parents, and students in a rural Alaska town concerning educational quality and issues in their schools. A literature review provides background on the history of education in the region, the value of culturally congruent education for Native students, the importance of teacher background in relation to the rural setting and cultural sensitivity, and the shortage of certified teachers in rural Alaska. Interviews were conducted in a remote rural Alaska town in which the population was about 50 percent Native Alaskan (from a variety of cultural groups). Most interviewees were Native Alaskans and included a teacher educator, principals, teachers, parents, and students. Qualitative analysis of the interviews revealed the following major themes: (1) culture (culturally relevant practices in the schools, extreme cultural diversity in the community, inappropriateness of mainstream materials, skepticism about the sincerity of cultural programs, mistrust of educators from "outside," culture shock when students leave the community); (2) school role and functioning (poor quality of some aspects of education, general relevance of school to students' lives, use of the community college for advanced courses, high performance at the elementary level, alternative school for potential dropouts); (3) relations among school, family, and community (parent and community participation, teacher-student relationships, ethnic relations); and (4) social issues (drinking, substance abuse, early pregnancy, family problems). Contains 6 figures and an accompanying key and 40 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, Culturally Relevant Education, Diversity (Student), Educational Attitudes, Elementary Secondary Education, Interviews, Parent Attitudes, Parent Participation, Public Schools, Rural Education, School Attitudes, School Community Relationship, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska