Shelby's Mini Proposalgreenspun.com : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread
Mini Project Proposal Shelby Dowty March 17, 1999
As a fifth grade teacher in a Northern Minnesota school, I have discovered the severe lack of American Indian education in the K-6 curriculum. One example of teaching American Indian education in the primary grades in my school district, might be Indian headbands and Indian fringed vests at Thanksgiving time. Another example of teaching American Indian education in my school districts intermediate grades, might be celebrating the heroism of Christopher Columbus. The community in which I teach and live is rich in the American Indian tradition. Within the school district, our largest minority population is American Indian students. I would like my research project to be the best practice of American Indian education in grades K-6 in the State of Minnesota. After evaluating and assessing that research, I would like to establish an American Indian education curriculum in grades K-6 within my school district.
Statement of Problem
My research question is: What is the best practice in American Indian education, in grades K-6, in the State of Minnesota. Within the past couple years, the book, American Indian History, Culture and Language Curriculum Framework, was sent to every superintendent and graduation standard personnel in the State of Minnesota. To start my research , I will contact the American Indian Education Committee or the printer of the above mentioned curriculum, to find out what school districts within the State of Minnesota have purchased more books than the two already sent to their individual districts. In finding the number of books ordered, I will be able to determine the advancement of this curriculum throughout the school districts in Minnesota. If I cannot find out the school districts actively using this curriculum through the American Indian Education Committee or through the printer, I will call the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning Education and Community Services Directory. Through this directory, I should be able to find all the school districts within the State of Minnesota. I will then contact interview the Director of Indian Education in each school district to determine the usage of the curriculum mentioned above. I want to know just how well this curriculum has been infused within each individual school district.
Rationale for the Study of the Problem
There is a server lack of American Indian education within grades K-6. To my knowledge, the school district should have two copies of the above mentioned Indian curriculum framework. This particular book is unknown and unfamiliar to all the teachers within the school I teach. Educators continually and traditionally teach American Indian education only during the month of November. I feel it is mandatory that all students learn, respect, and appreciate the culture, beliefs, and traditions of the American Indians.
Definition of Terms
The definition of best practice is, If a practitioner is following the Best Practice standards, he or she is aware of current research and consistently offers clients the full benefits of the latest knowledge, technology, and procedures. I have been actively seeking the definition of American Indian education through Joe Aitken, Indian Education Director out of Bemidji, Minnesota. I have also been trying to telephone the Bureau of Indian Affairs out of Minneapolis (612-373-1093) for the definition of American Indian education. The information I received from Mr. Aitken was that each district might have their own definition. Most districts seem to wrestle with various guidelines and definitions. Through my research, I will have to find the best definition to incorporate within the best practice of American Indian education, grades K-6, within the State of Minnesota.
Preliminary Review of Related Literature Fraedrich, Jacqueline Director of Indian Education, Robbinsdale Area Schools, 4148 Winnetka Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55427, (612) 533-2781.
Greenfield, Al (firstname.lastname@example.org) (1999, March 15). Best Practice definition. E-mail to Shelby Dowty (email@example.com)
Minnesota Education Services at Captial View Center, 70 West County Road B2, Little Canada, MN 55117-1402.
Mulder, J. (firstname.lastname@example.org). (1999, March 14). Best Practice in American Indian education in grades K-6 in the State of Minnesota. E-mail to Shelby Dowty (email@example.com).
Peacock, Sonny (firstname.lastname@example.org). (1999, March 14). Best Practice in American Indian education in grades K-6 in the State of Minnesota. E-mail to Shelby Dowty (email@example.com).
Peacock, Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org). (1999, March 10). How to order resource book American Indian History, Culture and Language Curriculum Framework. E-mail to Shelby Dowty (email@example.com).
Peacock, Thomas. (1998). Collected Wisdom, Allyn & Bacon (1998).
1. Define Indian Education 2. Define Best Practice 3. Find out what school districts in the State of Minnesota are using the American Indian History, Culture and Language Curriculum Framework. 4. Interview all school district personnel within the State of Minnesota who are using the above mentioned curriculum. I want to know exactly how this curriculum is being used within their school districts. 5. Lit searches are being conducted continually through the University of Minnesota, Duluth Library. 6. At this time, I will determine What is the Best Practice of American Indian Education, grades K-6, in the State of Minnesota.
-- Anonymous, March 17, 1999
Your proposal is quite feasible and concisely described. Your methodology makes good sense; however, I would suggest that you do not limit yourself to the one book or a single approach, but to be open to any other curricula that are available.
A couple of suggestions.....
I have become familiar with Marge Anderson's work on the Mille Lacs reservation; perhaps she could be of assistance. Let me know if you are interested.
Duluth Public Schools curriculum was adjusted over 5 years ago to be 30% multicultural, gender fair, and handicap aware. Let me know if you are interested.
I anticipate your research will assist all Minnesota Schools in celebrating the riches of our cultural diversity.
Talk to you Wednesday
-- Anonymous, March 21, 1999