WHY CAN’T WE JUST DO MATH? EXPLORING THE TENSIONS WITHIN THE IN-BETWEEN SPACE OF A CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE CURRICULUM

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Identity, Agency and Social Institutions in Educational Ethnography

ISBN: 978-0-76231-144-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-297-9

ISSN: 1529-210X

Publication date: 30 December 2004

Abstract

As early as 1928, Lewis Meriam’s research report to the Secretary of Interior indicated that American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) schools were understaffed, had irrelevant curricula, and employed under qualified teachers. There continues to be a categorical need for professionally developed curriculum materials that reflect the local culture and language of AI/AN students. There is an equivalent need for instructional strategies that can succeed with AI/AN students. Over the past decade, reports (Deyhle & Swisher, 1997; Pavel, 1999; Swisher & Tippeconnic, 1999) have reinforced the need for educational programs for AI/AN schools and communities that are based on local culture and employ a group’s vernacular language as a part of schooling. This is a reversal from earlier more assimilationist models of education, which have been promulgated by the federal government through its policy on first language (other than English) and cultural exclusion. This call for programs based on culture and vernacular language is due, in part, to the persistent nationwide gap in the academic performance of AI/AN students and their non-native peers (Berlak, 2001).

Citation

Parker Webster, J. and Lipka, J. (2004), "WHY CAN’T WE JUST DO MATH? EXPLORING THE TENSIONS WITHIN THE IN-BETWEEN SPACE OF A CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE CURRICULUM", Troman, G., Jeffrey, B. and Walford, G. (Ed.) Identity, Agency and Social Institutions in Educational Ethnography (Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 103-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1529-210X(04)10006-5

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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