ERIC Number: ED459989
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Schooling for Self-Determination: Research on the Effects of Including Native Language and Culture in the Schools. ERIC Digest.
This digest briefly reviews the impacts of assimilationist education for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and describes recent examples of successful AI/AN schools that incorporate students' native language and traditional culture into the curriculum. Beginning in the 1870s, federal policy emphasized assimilation as the goal of AI/AN education. Assimilationist policies had the effects of separating AI/AN students from their communities, weakening Native languages and cultures, driving students toward a marginalized identity, alienating students from schooling, and producing subtractive bilingualism. The past 3 decades have seen many efforts to restore and revitalize Native languages and cultures through the schools and to use Indigenous knowledge and language to meet both local and Western educational goals. Concurrently, the notion of appropriate academic knowledge has been reevaluated, and some teachers and elders have found ways to connect local practical and cultural knowledge to the school curriculum. Four exemplary AI/AN programs are described that involve community or tribally controlled schools, use Indigenous culture and language, and have resulted in a significant gain in academic achievement. These include Navajo programs in Arizona, a Native Hawaiian program in Honolulu, and an Inuit-controlled school using Inuktitut in Nunavik (northern Quebec). (Contains 20 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Gains, American Indian Education, Biculturalism, Bilingual Education, Cultural Education, Culturally Relevant Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Language of Instruction, Native Language Instruction, School Effectiveness, Tribally Controlled Education
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348. Tel: 800-624-9120 (Toll Free). For full text: http://www.indianeduresearch.net/edorc01-12.htm.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.