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Cultivated Ground: Effective Teaching Practices for Native Students in a Public High School National Indian Education Association Anna Fetter and Brittany.

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Presentation on theme: "Cultivated Ground: Effective Teaching Practices for Native Students in a Public High School National Indian Education Association Anna Fetter and Brittany."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cultivated Ground: Effective Teaching Practices for Native Students in a Public High School National Indian Education Association Anna Fetter and Brittany Dorer

2 Project Request Dr. Dawn Mackety, Director of Research, Data, and Policy at the National Indian Education Association submitted a request for this project to the Harvard University Native American Program. The purpose of this project was to do one or more case studies on public high schools effectively serving American Indian/Alaskan Native students and to identify which teaching practices were effective in these schools. What are the effective teaching practices being utilized in public schools that are successfully serving their Native students?

3 What are Effective Teaching Practices for American Indian Students? Culturally Based Education (CBE) Culturally Responsive Schooling (CRS) Surveys of teachers and students Qualitative Research Gap in literature on effective teaching practices that are used in public schools effectively serving Native students Brayboy, B.M.J. & Castagno, A.E. (2009). Self-determination through self-education: Culturally responsive schooling for Indigenous students in the USA. Teaching Education, 20(1), 31-53 Demmert, W. G., Jr. (2001). Improving academic performance among Native American students: A review of the literature. Charleston, WV: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.

4 Native Students in Public Education Today In 2011, 378,000 AI/AN students enrolled in the U.S. public school system, or.7% of students enrolled 31% of these students attended a high-poverty school [compared to 6% of White students] Only 16% of teachers in public schools serving native students are Native themselves. In 2009, AI/AN students had an 82% graduation rate [compared to 94% of White students] (2013). National Indian Education Association. Retrieved February 2013 from

5 Mount Edgecumbe High School "To provide a challenging, unique education in a residential setting that values rich cultural diversities and traditions, inspiring Alaskan students to become successful, responsible, global citizens."

6 Methodology for MEHS ~ Phone Interview ~ Spoke With Two Teachers Two Students Two Administrators

7 Portrait of Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS) Public boarding school in Sitka, Alaska Between 400 -500 students 77% Native, 1% African American,.8% Asian, 1,5% Hispanic, 10.8% two or more races, 5% White Student/teacher ratio is 17:5 54% eligible for free/reduced lunch Comprehensive admissions process tuition of $250/year Graduation rate is 98.4% Dropout rate is 0.5% Located next to the University of Alaska Southeast Percent Proficient/Advanced of AI/AN students: 86% in Language Arts, 76% in Math 110 communities represented Mt. Edgecumbe High School. (2013). Mt. Edgecumbe High School. Retrieved March 2013 from

8 MEHS Phone Interview “Mt. Edgecumbe is my family... these students are like my children.” Teacher “If you could narrow it down to one word.. it’s all about relationships.” Academic Principal “I'm always looking for different ways students can participate...” Teacher “I feel comfortable being myself in her class” Student “People [at home] encourage me to stick it out here... I think of the pride I'll have at my graduation, I think of the endless opportunities here.” Student “Everybody has bought into the culture of family [At Mt. Edgecumbe]” Teacher

9 MEHS Themes o Supportive Family Atmosphere o Relationships o Pride o Cultural Respect o Trust o Responsive Teaching o Family, Community, & Tribal Support o Partnership with nearby state college o Disciplinary latitude

10 Case Study: Early College High School of Robeson County, North Carolina "To educate all students by building a foundation for learning in an ever-changing global society."

11 Methodology for RECHS ~ Site visit ~ Met with... Two Assistant Superintendents RECHS Principal Youth Development Specialist Guidance Counselor Seven Students Three Teachers Community Member ~ Locations Visited District Offices RECHS Offices/Campus Four Classrooms 07/Centricity/Domain/1/New%20Picture.png

12 Portrait of Early College High School at Robeson (ECHS) * 4-5 year public high school located on RCC campus with selective admission process of first-generation high school students * Classes are held in three mobile units and one permanent building * ECHS is located on the campus of Robeson County Community College * 2012 National Blue Ribbon School * Part of North Carolina New Schools Project * 200 Students and 9 Teachers * 40% native students, 14% African American, 31% white, 13% Hispanic * 76.4% qualify free or reduced priced lunch * Robeson County is the largest and poorest district in the state * Median income of Robeson is $30,000, 30.6% below poverty level The Public Schools of Robeson County. (2013). Early College High School. Retrieved March 2013 from United States Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts (2013). Robeson County Quick Facts from the US Census Bureau. Retrieved from

13 ECHS Interviews "The whole key would be the relationships those teachers form with those children.” Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction “It’s most important to build their [teachers] relationships with the students… so they believe there’s someone who can give them the right advice.” Guidance Counselor “Our people have always put a big emphasis on education” Assistant Director of the Indian Education Resource Center “It’s the culture, the environment.” Teacher “It's like we are our own little family" Student

14 ECHS Themes School Culture Family Relationships Acceptance Cultural Respect and Inclusion High Expectations High Standards Responsive Teaching Family/Community support Partnership with nearby community college

15 Best Practices That Emerged  Culturally Responsive Teaching Themes o High expectations & high standards o Acceptance o Culturally relevant pedagogy o Teacher-student relationships - trust, respect, involvement, pride o Family/community Support and engagement  Structural Themes

16 Thank You! Nia:wen! Dr. Mackety! Adrienne! Dennis! & our A-102 classmates!

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