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Connecting with Students of Alaska Native Heritage From a Non-Native Perspective Laury Roberts Scandling From a Non-Native Perspective Laury Roberts Scandling.

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Presentation on theme: "Connecting with Students of Alaska Native Heritage From a Non-Native Perspective Laury Roberts Scandling From a Non-Native Perspective Laury Roberts Scandling."— Presentation transcript:

1 Connecting with Students of Alaska Native Heritage From a Non-Native Perspective Laury Roberts Scandling From a Non-Native Perspective Laury Roberts Scandling

2 Other working titles: Youd think wed get it after 250 years! If were educated educators, why arent we educated about this? Youd think wed get it after 250 years! If were educated educators, why arent we educated about this?

3 Please know that I know... No group is monolithic My perspective is SE urban Alaska My perspective is western, dominant culture I can be and have been unintentionally racist Alaska cultural groups are not alike Ultimately, kids are more alike than different Theres only one deficit I assume: the system No group is monolithic My perspective is SE urban Alaska My perspective is western, dominant culture I can be and have been unintentionally racist Alaska cultural groups are not alike Ultimately, kids are more alike than different Theres only one deficit I assume: the system

4 Disproportionality 23% of student population 30% of special education 34% - 40% of drop outs grades 7-12, between ; 10% WORSE since % of student population 30% of special education 34% - 40% of drop outs grades 7-12, between ; 10% WORSE since 2000

5 1 in 6 Alaskans is Native 1 in 3 incarcerated Alaskans is Native 1 in 10 Alaskans lives in poverty 1 in 4 Alaska Natives lives in poverty 1 in 6 Alaskans is Native 1 in 3 incarcerated Alaskans is Native 1 in 10 Alaskans lives in poverty 1 in 4 Alaska Natives lives in poverty

6 Disproportionality 30-point difference between Natives and Caucasians on state standards testing

7 Correlation between education and Incarceration 80% of inmates are drop outs Poverty Drop out earns $250,000 less than grad Incarceration 80% of inmates are drop outs Poverty Drop out earns $250,000 less than grad

8 Correlation between low income and low oral language development Language development is related to brain growth and learning readiness For children who enter school with limited vocabulary, the gap only gets worse over time* * Todd Risley, UAA Language development is related to brain growth and learning readiness For children who enter school with limited vocabulary, the gap only gets worse over time* * Todd Risley, UAA

9 Correlation between mothers education and childs attainment 44% of Alaska Natives are under 20 years old (compared to about one-third of other Alaskans) 44% of Alaska Natives are under 20 years old (compared to about one-third of other Alaskans)

10 Reasons for leaving school 3 in 5: family or personal problems 1 in 5: family doesnt value education 1 in 5: academic reasons * First Alaskans Institute phone survey of 1,000 Native households, in 5: family or personal problems 1 in 5: family doesnt value education 1 in 5: academic reasons * First Alaskans Institute phone survey of 1,000 Native households, 2001

11 Survey also showed Virtually 100% rated high school graduation as important 4 in 10: the system favors non-Natives Virtually 100% rated high school graduation as important 4 in 10: the system favors non-Natives

12 Stereotype Threat 200 studies have replicated when a member of a group perceives that the group is considered incapable, that individual and that group will perform below what its already demonstrated its capable of

13 Take-way understandings Native kids are capable Native families value education Native students deeply influenced by family Native families desire culture in the classroom Native students may need personal support Native students may need academic support Native students may need different teaching Native students perceive racism or favoritism; that perception can affect performance Native kids are capable Native families value education Native students deeply influenced by family Native families desire culture in the classroom Native students may need personal support Native students may need academic support Native students may need different teaching Native students perceive racism or favoritism; that perception can affect performance

14 Culture matters - especially classroom culture Absolutely maintain and deliberately exhibit a culture of HIGH REGARD and HIGH EXPECTATIONS Absolutely maintain and deliberately exhibit a culture of HIGH REGARD and HIGH EXPECTATIONS

15 Culture matters - learn it Participate in local events; be present Learn with your students... and dont assume they know it Seek help; find resources Alaska Native Knowledge Network Math in a Cultural Context Loads of curriculum Participate in local events; be present Learn with your students... and dont assume they know it Seek help; find resources Alaska Native Knowledge Network Math in a Cultural Context Loads of curriculum

16 Culture matters Make it omnipresent Posters, written word, language, presenters, staff, leaders, art, music, elders Role models front and center Honor students; invite speakers and former students; use deliberate language Make it omnipresent Posters, written word, language, presenters, staff, leaders, art, music, elders Role models front and center Honor students; invite speakers and former students; use deliberate language

17 Family matters - create it Personalization Advisors: a go-to person for each student and each family Advisories: small group time to talk and plan; creates relationships; reduces social hierarchy and racism Personalization Advisors: a go-to person for each student and each family Advisories: small group time to talk and plan; creates relationships; reduces social hierarchy and racism

18 Family matters -connect with them! Be deliberately invitational Home visits One-to-one talks at school Participation - ASK Governance School events Talent, skills, help Be deliberately invitational Home visits One-to-one talks at school Participation - ASK Governance School events Talent, skills, help

19 Family matters - accommodate it Check your systems: are entitled students getting preference? Develop an attendance policy which is strong but accommodates issues which can interfere with school Check your systems: are entitled students getting preference? Develop an attendance policy which is strong but accommodates issues which can interfere with school

20 Learning matters HOW students learn should be how you teach Small, cooperative, verbal, physical Creates enjoyment, trust, community, engagement HOW students learn should be how you teach Small, cooperative, verbal, physical Creates enjoyment, trust, community, engagement

21 Learning matters Provide support Be deliberate; dont wait to be asked Make it automatic, so that students maintain efficacy Cluster by literacy levels; make it the norm; measure it and talk about it matter-of-factly; show path of growth Provide support Be deliberate; dont wait to be asked Make it automatic, so that students maintain efficacy Cluster by literacy levels; make it the norm; measure it and talk about it matter-of-factly; show path of growth

22 Learning matters Teach students how to do school Why attendance is important in life The value of a diploma What theyre being measured on and what that looks like in the classroom Purpose of institutional etiquette Teach students how to do school Why attendance is important in life The value of a diploma What theyre being measured on and what that looks like in the classroom Purpose of institutional etiquette

23 Relevancy matters Develop a plan for success Real-life experiences Jobs, service, internships - rate skills Site visits Independent living workshops Budgets Problem-solving Post-sec prep Develop a plan for success Real-life experiences Jobs, service, internships - rate skills Site visits Independent living workshops Budgets Problem-solving Post-sec prep

24 What really matters? Loving every student Keeping the faith every day Loving every student Keeping the faith every day


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