A brief description:
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students represent about 1 percent of the total U.S. school population yet they experience some of the highest dropout rates and are consistently over-represented among students identified for special education services and students suspended or expelled from school. The Native community has recommended that native language and culture be infused into school environments (e.g., by incorporating culturally relevant social skills lessons, using culturally relevant language, supporting strong parent participation) to increase AI/AN students’ sense of belonging, positive identity development, and increased self-awareness and cultural awareness. The cultural and linguistic diversity of this population preclude identifying specific approaches to discipline and academic learning that would be equally beneficial to all AI/AN students. Instead, generalizable mechanisms for blending specific linguistic and cultural elements with discipline and academic requirements that improve student outcomes may be identifiable. Data from the National Indian Education Study (NIES) along with data from the School-wide Information System (SWIS) allow for the exploration of these recommended strategies and their relationship to education outcomes.
The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between school personnel’s use of Native Language and Culture (NLC) in discipline and instruction and the behavioral and academic outcomes of AI/AN students along with important moderators and mediators of this relationship. The findings of this exploration study will lay the foundation for the development of interventions specifically designed to benefit the academic success of these students.
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