Culturally Responsive Teaching for American Indian Students

Feb 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 16-3: Indigenizing Education, Media Reviews

by Cornel Pewewardy and Patricia Cahape Hammer
ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, 2003
EDO-RC-03-10 at www.eric.ed.gov

Review by Amy Bergstrom and Dr. Thomas D. Peacock

The article offers a useful framework developed by Phuntsong (1998) that tribal colleges might consider in building successful teaching and learning experiences for Native students. The framework consists of five critical elements:

  • Cultural literacy — knowledge to integrate Native student’s culture into classrooms and use it to build a bridge to success in school;
  • Self-reflective analysis of attitudes and beliefs — to develop as an on-going process the challenging negative assumptions and stereotypes about Native students;
  • Caring, trusting and inclusive classrooms — use of group work, cooperative learning, and a warm yet demanding teaching style.
  • Respect for diversity — the school itself should celebrate diversity, with the tribal community viewed as an important source of expertise and knowledge.
  • Transformative curriculum and learning — education should engage students as agents of social change.

Amy Bergstrom (Red Lake Nation) is director of teacher education at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Thomas D. Peacock (Fond du Lac Ojibwe) is an associate professor of education at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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