Salish Kootenai College Founded in 1977 Land Grant Status in 1990 Member of AIHEC 33 Tribal Colleges Fully Accredited by Northwest Association Bachelor Degree granting institution Member Sloan-C Member AN-MSI 35+ faculty 26 teaching online 1200 on-campus students 700 have taken online courses 200 graduates every year 3 Online Bachelor Degrees 2 More online Bachelor Degrees under construction Dist. Ed. Funded by W.K Kellogg Foundation, Alfred Sloan P. Foundation
Our Elders…. Stress our tribal philosophy of helping and supporting one another Want us to blend economics and technology with our cultural heritage…(Lydia Whirlwind Soldier)
Cultural Values of American Indians Importance of Family The Natural World Spirituality Cooperation Patience Careful Listening Careful Observation Veneration for Age Holistic Approach to Health Moderation in Speech Importance of Bilingualism View of Time Cultural Pluralism Self Discipline
Coming to Knowing Knowledge as a process Not a dead collection of facts Knowledge is alive, has spirit, and dwells within specific places Comes about through watching, signing songs, ceremonies, and through direct experience with the songs, ceremonies, the natural world, hunting, and daily life.
Stories of Learning from Chief Plenty Coups of the Crows Our teachers were grandfathers, uncles, grandmothers, aunties. All were quick to praise excellence without speaking a word that might break the spirit of the child who may be less capable than others. The one who failed got more lessons and more lessons. The child is anxious to please his elders. Our teachers had to learn once too, and they knew how we felt. They spoke to us as if we were warriors (peers/ adults). We worked very hard; we never knew when we might be called on by our “teachers.”
Distance Education and Learning Styles of American Indians Group Learning (brought into College Community Mentors: Teachers, student services Visuals: Hands-on Demonstrations Practice in Private: Course Room discussions/locked discussions New Information based in stories, traditions, tribal culture, case studies (Constructivism) New information relevant to my life as an Indian person in modern times
Theories of Distance Education for Indian People: The Ways our Ancestors Did Things No Word for “Theory” in Native Languages Western Theory of Constructivism Not a New Pursuit Cave Paintings Newspaper Rocks Runners Cultural Relevance Group Learning Community of Learners Songs, stories, Traditional knowledge
Questions for Course Design Does the program immediately capture attention? Does the program answer students relevance: What is in it for me? Are learning outcomes presented at the beginning of each lesson? Are learning outcomes specific and measurable? Is there an interesting variety of media? Are there interactive activities beyond the assessment? Is feedback from instructor immediate and specific? Is learning based on previous knowledge and experiences? Can the learning be applied to real situations?
Guidelines for Incorporating Native Learning Styles in Instructional Design Stories as part of content Practicality (Makes meaning to me as an Indian person) Caution (Practice first in Private; Apply learning to practice) Friendliness of instructor Experiential Learning Incorporating Culture Incorporating Art as assessment for knowing content
Ideas to Implement Native Culture into Courses Tribal stories Star Stories (astronomy/physics) Creation Stories (religion/humanities) Case studies involving tribal lands or treaties Using the Tribe’s language (i.e. anatomy courses) Current Events
Teaching American Indian Students Recognize the uniqueness of each tribe and each individual Learn the name of the tribe in the language of the People Family is key to learning People don’t leave their family at the door of the classroom Whatever impacts the family impacts the student Funerals, marriages, divorce, birth, visitors Raise the Bar of Expectations Many Native Scholars Believe the student can do scholarly work and let them know you think she can
Challenges to Instructors and Professors Know what communities/ reservations your students are from Learn about their culture and the culture of other tribes Incorporate cultural content into each class Find out from tribal elders and people who know Don’t write them off because they are from a poor reservation All the research states it is the relationship with the instructor that is key to retention