Engaging Native American Learners With Rigor and Cultural Relevance

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
By Julie Saylor

Engaging Native American Learners With Rigor and Cultural Relevance - an ISSUE BRIEF from The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement

by Abner Oakes, senior program associate, and Tracy Maday, program associate

“A heightened focus on data and disaggregating achievement outcomes of various student populations has revitalized efforts to address the needs of struggling students. However, educators have the additional challenge of overcoming the troubled legacy of interaction between public schooling and Native American communities. Although individual experiences vary, Native people have often felt disenfranchised from an education system that does not seem to understand their cultural perspectives and priorities.


…Unfortunately, the drive to significantly raise student achievement can overshadow or take attention away from efforts to make education more relevant and engaging for Native American students. Fortunately, growing evidence shows that academic rigor and culturally relevant practices are mutually compatible.” 





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