ERIC Number: ED459981
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov-19
Culturally Responsive Teaching for American Indian Learners.
Pewewardy, Cornel D.
Teachers in a multicultural society need to respect cultural differences, know the cultural resources their students bring to class, and be skilled at tapping into learners' cultural resources in the teaching-learning process. They must believe that all students are capable of learning, and they must implement an enriched curriculum for all students. It is important to avoid cultural stereotypes. Instead, teachers should respond to the individual and identify and explore his or her values. Enhancing the self-concept of American Indian learners is essential to their effective education. Helping learners recognize their heritage and giving them a sense of belonging as well as a sense of their uniqueness as American Indian are equally essential. For many teachers of American Indian children, major changes in behaviors, attitudes, and values are required. Non-native people must learn that tribes have a unique government-to-government relationship with the federal government and that American Indians have dual citizenship: tribal and U.S. citizenship. Culturally responsive teachers understand that the classroom is an ecology of language, culture, and thought. When evaluating American Indian learners, teachers should be aware of cultural differences. Conventional program evaluation standards often omit the nuances of ideographic and phenotypic attributes of people of color. Respect for the cultural differences of students begins by acknowledging that there is no one correct way to learn and that every child brings the culture of their own home and community to school. (Contains 55 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian Students, Cognitive Style, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Culturally Relevant Education, Educational Needs, Elementary Secondary Education, Multicultural Education, Racial Bias, Self Esteem, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Styles
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Kansas Institute on Effective Teaching Practices for Indian Education (Lawrence, KS, November 19, 1998).