ERIC Number: ED451970
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
A Chance To Go Full Circle: Building on Reforms To Create Effective Learning.
St. Germaine, Richard D.
As background for discussion of an educational research agenda for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), this paper reviews the role and purpose of school, recent social changes in Native communities, and a brief history of AI/AN education. Four broad goals of American schooling are noted, and the need for AI/AN communities to define the purpose or mission of their schools is emphasized. In recent decades, Native communities have been affected by changes in family structure; increasing poverty, violence, and substance abuse; attractions of the material American world; and television. A historical review of Indian education begins with the assimilationist role that education played for centuries after contact. This role started to erode in the 1930s when allotment of Indian lands ended, recommendations of the Meriam Report were implemented, and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools were localized. Reforms resumed in the 1960s with Headstart, and in the 1970s some educational governance was placed in the hands of Native parents and communities. In the 1990s, self-determination legislation allowed tribes to start new schools or take over the operation of BIA schools. The effective schools movement focused on the improvement of educational opportunities for low-achieving students. With these reforms moving to create dynamic learning environments for AI/AN students, the traditional ways of transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next are being recognized, leading to a radical change in school improvement planning. Recommendations for Indian education research focus on emphasizing early childhood education and training for parenthood; ensuring a school environment conducive to learning; improving the quality of teachers and teaching; providing a challenging curriculum; and ensuring that AI/AN children with disabilities receive a free, appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. An addendum presents effective schools correlates. (Contains 25 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, American Indian History, American Indians, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Indian Relationship, Research Needs, Role of Education, Self Determination, Tribally Controlled Education
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A