ERIC Number: ED476067
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003
Lessons Learned in Navajoland: Student Teachers Reflect on Professional and Cultural Learning in Reservation Schools and Communities.
Stachowski, Laura L.; Frey, Christopher J.
Indiana University's American Indian Reservation Project places student teachers in 16-week teaching assignments in schools across the Navajo Nation, emphasizing cultural and community involvement. Prior to student teaching, participants undergo extensive preparation to enhance their cultural values, beliefs, lifestyles, and education practices. A group of 30 student teachers reflected on their experiences and resultant learning and insights from both classroom and community settings. In the 10th week on-site, students described which two activities or events involving American Indians held the most significance for them during the past 2 weeks. In the final week, they described the three most important learnings or insights gained from the student teaching experience. Student teachers identified 99 distinct professional insights as a result of their experiences, organized around the themes of: the art of teaching, classroom discipline, personal-professional characteristics, school pupils, curriculum, relationship building, and school culture. The most commonly noted insights were related to the art of teaching and classroom discipline. Students reflected on 75 cultural experiences and insights gained, grouped around: the relationship between modernity and tradition, contemporary Navajo society, cross-cultural communication, cultural competence, challenges in Navajo education, pupils' living conditions, and historical understanding. (SM)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, Classroom Techniques, Cultural Awareness, Culturally Relevant Education, Curriculum, Discipline, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Immersion Programs, Interpersonal Relationship, Navajo (Nation), Preservice Teacher Education, School Culture, Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teachers, Teacher Characteristics, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (83rd, Jacksonville, FL, February 15-19, 2002).