ERIC Number: ED445874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Charter Schools for American Indians.
An ethnographic study reports on the practices of a sixth grade American Indian teacher at an urban charter middle school for American Indians. The study used classroom observations, interviews, and informal conversations over a 3-week period to determine and understand the personal and institutional influences on her instructional practices. The teacher used a teacher-centered style of instruction. She placed herself at the front of the classroom, used a textbook, and engaged the children in a pattern of initiate-respond-evaluate. This reflects the way she was taught in early and postsecondary schooling; the in-service training she received at the school; and the structure of the school itself, which is unaltered from the traditional secondary school. Despite the teacher-centered methods, her students had much autonomy due to her efforts to establish trust and responsibility. Charter schools provide the opportunity for American Indians to take control of their children's education and create schools outside government bureaucracy. However, this study indicates that simply providing community control and incorporating Indian content in a charter school does not ensure innovation. Educators must change not only what is taught, but also how and where it is taught and the school structure itself. Since many states require certification of charter school teachers, teacher education programs should enable teachers to recognize, teach, and respect different ways of knowing and learning. (Contains 24 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, Charter Schools, Classroom Techniques, Cultural Influences, Culturally Relevant Education, Middle School Teachers, Middle Schools, Resistance to Change, School Community Relationship, Teaching Methods, Traditional Schools, Urban American Indians
Full text at Web site: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/LIB/LIB11.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A