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ERIC Number: ED549383
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 142
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-2705-5
Native American Storytelling: Oral Tradition as a Cultural Component of Learning
Ewing, Rebecca Jane
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
The educational success of Native American students continues to be lower than both the general population and all other minorities, creating a learning gap that contributes to poverty. The use of mainstream pedagogies has not improved success rates, and there is limited research on how cultural practices impact learning. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of Native American storytelling to increase literacy and reading comprehension skills among Native American Grade 4 students. Because storytelling is employed in the tribal home and community to teach cultural beliefs to young children, this study focused on the parents' perceptions as a link between storytelling and literacy skills. A mixed methods case study design with a sequential explanatory strategy was employed using a purposeful sample of 6 interview respondents from one tribe. Quantitative data was collected from 2 surveys analyzed using a "t-test" and data from the NIES (National Indian Education Study) Reading Test. Interview questions, both open ended and semistructured, were coded for qualitative information. All data were integrated and reoccurring themes revealed that parental belief about storytelling does play a crucial role in reading skill development. These findings support the social constructivist model that students construct knowledge through social interaction. These findings may also provide an effective means of combining a holistic Native American way of knowing with standard educational pedagogies. The results from this study can be used to bring about positive social change by promoting awareness among parents and educators as to the benefits of using Native American storytelling as a cultural and educational learning tool to develop literacy skills among Native American students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A