Andre Cramblit: My rules for teaching American Indian students

Andre Cramblit. Photo from From The River Collective

Andre Cramblit shares some of the lessons he's learned from 30 years as an Indian educator:
Do Not Waste Your Money On Tutoring: The reason a school exists is to educate our students. If we use limited resources to relieve them of this responsibility we are not able to work on broader issues that need to be addressed. Researchers have found that American Indian students have the highest dropout rate of any group student.

Many Native Students Have a Visual Learning Style: Many Native students rely on visual input to guide them in the learning process. This comes from traditional instructional techniques that rely on modeling.

Many American Indian Students Will Have a Visual Learning Disorder: This means dyslexia, numeric dyslexia, amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing slowness, blurred and low vision (correctable with lenses) nutritional deficiencies, etc.

Change The System To Meet The Needs Of Students & Families, Not The Other Way Around: Western education models, by and large, are not the best option to teaching many Native learners. Programs such as AVID can be utilized to assist Native students achieve academic success. American Indians typically learn best by visually reinforced teaching approaches, not lecture and copy.

Schools must create, use & SUPPORT culturally appropriate curriculum: An integrated, culturally responsive, course of study uses materials and resources that link traditional knowledge and culture into the curriculum. The use of tribal art, history, language, geography, literature, and science can infuse the educational experience in relevance that will serve the needs of the Native student.

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Andre Crambit: 10 Rules for Teaching Native Students (Indian Country Today 8/10)

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