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
Carol J. Ward addresses the problem of persistently high dropout rates among Native American youth, which remains high despite overall increases in Native adult education attainment in the last twenty years. Focusing on the experiences of the Northern Cheyenne nation, she evaluates historical, ethnographic, and quantitative data from the reservation. With high rates of unemployment, poverty, and school dropouts, the Northern Cheyenne reservation provides some important lessons as Native Americans pursue greater educational success. The book will be important reading for multicultural educators, anthropologists, and Native American teachers and parents.
An important study of the work of Native American teachers in reservation communities
About the Author
Terry Huffman is a professor of education at George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, and the author of several books about American Indian education.