Synopses & Reviews
The role of Native American teachers and administrators working in reservation schools has received little attention from scholars. Utilizing numerous interviews and extensive fieldwork, Terry Huffman shows how they define their roles and judge their achievements. He examines the ways they address the complex issues of cultural identity that affect their students and themselves and how they cope with the pressures of teaching disadvantaged students while meeting the requirements for reservation schools. Personal accounts from the educators enrich the discussion. Their candid comments about their choice of profession; their position as teachers, role models, and social service agents; and the sometimes harsh realities of reservation life offer unique insight into the challenges and rewards of providing an education to Native American students.Huffman also considers the changing role of Native educators as reservation schools prepare their students for the increasing complexities of modern life and society while still transmitting traditional culture. He shows that Native American educators meet daunting challenges with enduring optimism and persistence. The insights these educators offer can serve those in other communities where students navigate a difficult path out of discrimination and poverty.
“This is a scholarly and sensitive study of veteran Native American educators who have devoted their careers to the education of Indian reservation students. It’s grounded in solid ethnographic principles giving voice to Native American educators. The book provides meaningful ideas about what it takes to be a successful educator with students in reservation schools.” --Ricardo Garcia, author of Teaching for Diversity: A Guide to Greater Understanding
“To my knowledge, no one has tackled this subject to the depth that Huffman has done. I consider this book an immense contribution to the sociology of education and to American Indian studies.” --MaryJo Benton Lee, author of Ethnicity Matters: Rethinking How Black, Hispanic, and Indian Students Prepare for and Succeed in College
Huffmans interviews and comprehensive review of the literature on Indian education highlight the effects of pervasive poverty on Indian students.” -- Choice
An important study of the work of Native American teachers in reservation communities
The role of Native American teachers and administrators working in reservation schools has received very little attention, although their work is critical to preparing their students for the future. Utilizing numerous interviews and extensive fieldwork, Terry Huffman shows how they define their roles and evaluate their performance. He examines how they address the complex issues of Native cultural identity that affect their students and themselves and how they cope with the pressures of teaching disadvantaged students while meeting the requirements for reservation schools, including the No Child Left Behind Act.
Personal accounts, including candid comments about their choice of profession and the sometimes harsh realities of reservation life, offer unique insight into the frustrations and rewards of providing a viable education for Native American students. American Indian Educators in Reservation Schools demonstrates that these teachers and administrators meet daunting challenges with persistent optimism. Huffmans study will help educators in other communities whose students are navigating a difficult path out of poverty and discrimination toward a better future.
About the Author
Terry Huffman is a professor of education at George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, and the author of several books, including Theoretical Perspectives on American Indian Education: A New Look at Educational Success and the Achievement Gap