ERIC Number: ED423101
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
A Native Perspective on the School Reform Movement: A Hot Topics Paper.
In the most recent wave of school reform, educators are beginning to move past learning about American Indian culture, to learning from Indian cultural ways and using them to improve their instructional practice. Recent developments in federal educational policy, such as the Improving America's School Act and Goals 2000 have opened the door to exciting changes in education. This legislation breaks down the bureaucratic barriers between programs and attempts to encourage creativity and control at the local level. This paper suggests that Title IX Indian Education programs, Title IX parent committees, tribes, and the general Indian community must seize this moment to advocate for the reforms that work best with Indian students. This document examines areas in which European Americans can learn about the learning process from Indian people. American Indian students have been poorly served by the factory model of education, with its rote learning, competitive atmosphere, and standardized testing. For thousands of years, Indian people viewed their experience in the world as the living curriculum and master teacher, with emphases on relatedness, communal collaboration, and learning by doing. Several school reform practices are discussed whose essence should be recognizable to Indian people. These include integrated curriculum, applied learning, cooperative learning strategies, alternative assessments such as performance-based assessment, and discovery and use of the interrelationships in the natural world. (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, Cooperative Learning, Cultural Exchange, Educational Needs, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Experiential Learning, Holistic Approach, Integrated Curriculum, Student Evaluation
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR. Comprehensive Center, Region X.