Building a Native Teaching Force: Important Considerations

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

by Kathryn Manuelito
ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, 2003
EDO-RC-03-9 at www.eric.ed.gov

Review by Amy Bergstrom and Dr. Thomas D. Peacock

The article provides a good rationale for developing Native teachers and discusses the challenges in doing so. In support, Manuelito includes the Native Educators Research Project at Arizona State University (ASU).

Native teachers build community and a sense of belonging in the classroom. Native teachers provide:

  • Shared culture & language
  • Role models
  • A connection of learning to students’ lives

Building a Native teacher program must challenge mainstream curricular models and use culture and language as the curricular foundation. Native people need to become involved and support this process. The Native Educators Research Project at ASU is currently collecting data for sound models and effective practices.

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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