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ERIC Number: EJ794264
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8731
Making Assessment Practices Valid for Indigenous American Students
Nelson-Barber, Sharon; Trumbull, Elise
Journal of American Indian Education, v46 n3 p132-147 2007
Educational assessment, as it is typically conducted in U.S. schools, does not successfully capture or build on potentially important content knowledge and understanding of Indigenous students. In fact, current policies (such as the No Child Left Behind Act, 2002) are interfering with the implementation of many of the things we know about making assessments appropriate for Native students. This paper draws from the authors' extensive experience working with Indigenous teachers and communities to discuss how their well-developed ways of knowing, learning, and problem solving can be understood and utilized in the analyses of student processes and products. The paper explores some of the cultural perspectives and culture-related strengths exhibited by Indigenous learners and shows how awareness of them can lead to a reduction in bias and inequity in assessment. It also explores the issues in the context of some of the historical and sociocultural factors that have affected the schooling of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Suggestions are offered regarding research that could contribute to identification of strategies for improving educational outcomes for these students. New research would build on what we know to be effective and take cues from what has worked successfully for English language learners who face challenges similar to Native students.
Center for Indian Education. Arizona State University, College of Education, P.O. Box 871311, Tempe, AZ 95287-1311. Tel: 480-965-6292; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001