Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A qualitative case study of developing teacher identity among American Indian secondary teachers from the Ute Teacher Training Program
by Exton, Virginia Norris, Ed.D., Utah State University, 2008, 163; 3319934
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this foundational study was to explore the factors that contributed to developing teacher identity among new American Indian teachers. Multifaceted research into the history of American Indian education, the design of American Indian teacher training programs, and the beliefs and experiences of four American Indian secondary teachers gave this study a richly detailed context.

Three overarching patterns emerged during the process of analyzing the data: (a) solidarity and independence, (b) habit and change, and (c) tradition and invention. From these patterns, six factors were identified as contributing to developing teacher identity. School-based experiences that affected developing teacher identity included cohort-based peer support, preparation for content area expertise, and teachers as role models. Personal, home, and community beliefs that affected developing teacher identity were as follows: giving back to American Indian communities, serving American Indian students, and becoming empowered as American Indian teachers.

Participants in this study represented various tribe affiliations but were all registered students in the Ute Teacher Training Program from 2002 to 2005. The goal of this program, administrated by the Ute Tribe, was to mentor, train, and certify American Indian secondary teachers through an ongoing university education program offered at a rural location close to the Ute reservation. Recommendations in the final chapter of this qualitative case study may provide useful information for the design and implementation of future American Indian teacher education programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hall, Janice L.
Commitee: Barta, Jim, Carlston, Gary, Pray, Lisa, Roush, Jan
School: Utah State University
Department: Education and Human Services
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Teacher education, Secondary education, Native American studies
Keywords: Indian, Native American teachers, Secondary education, Secondary teachers, Teacher identity, Teacher training programs, Ute Teacher Training Program
Publication Number: 3319934
ISBN: 978-0-549-70377-8
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