ERIC Number: ED422141
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Nurturing the Seventh Generation: A Three-Year Ethnographic Study of Native Americans Who Would Be Teachers.
Whitfield, Patricia T.; Klug, Beverly J.
The Knight Scholars Program--a collaborative project between Heritage College (Washington), three local school districts, and one tribal school--aimed to increase the number of Native American teachers in Washington. The project sought to develop programs to facilitate the teacher preparation of Native American instructional aides and to assist candidates in understanding and addressing the special problems faced by Native American students in K-12 settings. This paper examines factors that contributed to the academic and professional success or failure of 17 Native American teacher-aspirants (Knight Scholars) selected from paraprofessionals in 4 cooperating school districts. These individuals represented varying degrees of acculturation (traditional, acculturated, and bicultural), and 90 percent were low-income. Primary project strategies included: (1) integrating opportunities for education majors to investigate the impact of multigenerational trauma on themselves and their students; (2) developing opportunities for project participants to put theory into practice in field-based classrooms; and (3) assisting in the development of educational planning, school/college partnerships, culturally appropriate educational programs, emphases on tribal language and culture in schooling, and college offerings to facilitate the foregoing components. Semi-structured interviews with the 17 Knight Scholars, as well as a 3-year ethnographic study of the program, indicate that participants integrated 2 world views and recognized their need for Western education to become effective teachers, were proud of their own and the program's success, reported growth in self-confidence and professional competence, and saw themselves as role models and mentors for Indian youth. (Contains 20 references.) (SAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A