Thursday, July 18, 2013

NIEA & Harvard Study Shows Promising Practices for Effective Teaching

NIEA, National Indian Education Associationby Native News Network:

Providing high quality teaching to our American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children is important to advancing excellent education in our schools and communities.

Identifying and sharing evolving practices in effective teaching is the subject of a report conducted on behalf of the National Indian Education Association by Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. 

Cultivated Ground: Effective Teaching Practices for Native Students in a Public High School

The new study, "Cultivated Ground: Effective Teaching Practices for Native Students in a Public High School," focuses on how instructional practices at two schools serving large populations of Native students Early College High School in Lumberton, North Carolina, and Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska have improved student achievement as well as helped students gain knowledge about their cultures.

Improving the quality of teaching in classrooms is not just a concern for Native communities.

Last month, the National Council on Teacher Quality, an education policy think-tank, and US News and World Report released a study focused on the quality of teacher preparation at 1,130 of the nation's university schools of education that train most of the nation's instructors; that study included a focus on whether university education schools are training teachers to be culturally competent in working with Native and non-Native minority students.

But there are still plenty of questions about what defines effective teaching, especially for Native students who need high quality academic and cultural education in order to stay on the course to high school graduation and college completion.

Because of these questions, Dawn Mackety, PhD, NIEA's Director of Research, Policy and Data, enlisted Harvard to look at promising models of academically and culturally effective teaching of Native students.

The resulting report came out of NIEA's Research and Capacity Building activities supporting college and career success funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In Cultivated Ground, recently-graduated Harvard students Anne Fetter and Brittany Dorer found that while Early College and Mt. Edgecumbe operate in different political and Native contexts, both shared common themes in their success, including:
  • Integration of Culturally Based Education and culturally responsive teaching which research has proven to be critical to improving Native student success.
  • Strong relationships between teachers, students, and families based on mutual respect and trust. Teachers are fully engaged in the lives of their students in order to help them improve their achievement.
  • Cultures of high standards and expectations in which the potential of both Native and non-Native students are nurtured.
  • A focus on making instruction relevant to the real life experiences of students. This includes assignments that connect issues such as school violence to classic non-Native literature such as Romeo and Juliet.
To access the study of the findings. NIEA will further discuss promising models of effective teaching in October at NIEA 2013: The 44th Annual Convention.

No comments:

Post a Comment