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ERIC Number: ED555771
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 227
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-1103-5
Defining Student Success through Navajo Perspectives
Bowman, Colleen Wilma
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, New Mexico State University
The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine the definition of student success as defined by the Navajo people. The data collection method used was the focus group. The data were collected from two geographical settings from two public schools located within the boundaries of the Navajo Indian Reservation. The focus group participants were all enrolled members of the Navajo Nation. The participants included parents, grandparents, community members, and policy makers. An overview of federal Indian policy is included to provide a foundation for the reader to understand the formal policies that have shaped Indian education in America. The study also reviews other minority groups' perspectives regarding aspects of student success. The study uses the theoretical frameworks of Indigenous Ways of Knowing (IWOK), Dine Philosophy of Learning/Life (DPL), and Tribal Critical Race Theory (ThbalCrit). Descriptors of student success were: 1) Family and Community Connections; 2) Navajo Language; 3) Navajo Culture; 4) Balance between Two Worlds; 5) Overcoming Challenges; 6) Life-long Learning; 7) Goal setting; 8) Learning Styles; 9) Civic Engagement; 10) Self-Sufficiency, and 11) Proficiency with Technology. One descriptor common to all focus group definitions was the family and community connections. A definition of student success is provided using the focus groups' definitions and the common descriptors. The emergent themes included three success themes and two barrier themes. Success themes were "Walking in Two Worlds"; "Navajo Language and Culture"; and "Connections to Ke (Family) and Community." The barrier themes were "Lack of Committed Tribal Support" and "Weak School District Partnership." The barrier themes identified issues that prevented students from realizing opportunities to experience success in school and in life. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A