Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy for students of the Menominee Indian School District
by Matyska, Marti, Ph.D., Marian University, 2011, 252; 3545183
Abstract (Summary)

A perpetual challenge to teachers is understanding how children learn. One explanation might come from culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy. Culturally responsive education can be defined as using the cultural orientations of students to make learning experiences effective for them. This theory concurs with the constructivist view that students build new knowledge based on what they already know and believe.

In order to establish context, Chapter One of this dissertation traces the historical roots of Menominee education including the creation of the Menominee Indian School District (MISD).

The specific research question for this qualitative study was: What do teachers have to know and do to support learning for students of the Menominee Indian School District? The study was based on the insights of twelve MISD educators, two focus groups composed of graduates of Menominee Indian High School, the researcher's professional autobiography, and summaries of the MISD Board minutes from 1976 to 2009. To establish context, two community members who worked at creating the school district in 1976 were also interviewed.

This study provided evidence that culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy is one in which teachers (a) recognize and respect the communication structures of the community, (b) have an understanding of the culture, and (c) know how to develop classroom materials and activities that focus on the cultural background of their students.

This study also provided evidence that culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy is one in which teachers (a) model an ethic of caring and establish relationships with their students and their students' families, (b) have clear and positive expectations for their students, and (c) construct pedagogy and classroom strategies based on culturally responsive considerations.

The overall implication of this study is that teachers and schools should consider culturally responsive practices in order to support the learning of their students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Koetting, J. Randall
Commitee: Gilles, Helen, Grignon, Jerilyn
School: Marian University
Department: Doctoral Studies
School Location: United States -- Wisconsin
Source: DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Social studies education, Curriculum development, Native American studies
Keywords: American Indian education, Culturally responsive curriculum, Culturally responsive teaching, Menominee Indian School District, Teaching practices, Wisconsin
Publication Number: 3545183
ISBN: 978-1-267-77168-1
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