Sep 24, 2020

Native Education Collaborative Webpage Part 1: Teachers and Leaders, and College and Career Readiness and Access

Jenna Scott
Native Education Collaborative Logo

The National Center is excited to announce the launch of the Native Education Collaborative webpage that provides resources to state education agencies (SEAs), tribal education agencies (TEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and other stakeholders engaged in Native education. Resources are organized into six categories that align with improving educational systems for American Indian and Alaska Native students. In this blog, we explore two of the categories: Teachers and Leaders, and College and Career Readiness and Access.  

Teachers and Leaders 

Teachers are a critical part of the education system. The value teachers bring to their students goes beyond lesson plans. Teachers can have a big impact on students’ self-confidence and ambition. Representation matters. Native students need to see their tribal members represented in the school as teachers and educational leaders.  

Native teachers and leaders help Native students understand that they, too, have a lot of career opportunities and that education is a viable option. To improve Native representation in their staffing, schools can: 

  • Come up with alternative solutions to include tribal members in Native students’ education, such as— 

  • Inviting Native knowledge bearers to be guest teachers 

  • Partnering with Native-owned businesses in the community to provide volunteer and internship experiences for students 

In addition, education preparation programs can: 

  • Include non-Western education in teacher certification programs—Teacher certification programs can build their curricula to include non-Western education approaches to certify more teachers who have Native wisdom and knowledge  

Visit the Teachers and Leaders Collection to find resources about teachers and leaders. Resources include fact sheets, infographics, and an education brief.  

College and Career Readiness and Access 

Every student should feel like they have the option to attend college if they so choose. Students’ needs may differ by ethnic group due to cultural, historical, or other factors. Additionally, different ethnic groups may have different standards for what they view as student success. To improve college and career readiness and access for Native students, education agencies need to build bridges between the traditional, Western education approach and Native ways of life.  

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving college and career readiness and access. But schools do have several options. 

  • Include traditional learning experiences in the core curriculum—These experiences can include community service and internships with local Native-owned businesses 

  • Include traditional Native pedagogy—Partner with tribal members to help inform the curriculum with Native education approaches and invite local tribal members to serve as guest teachers 

  • Ask the local tribes for ways to improve the school’s tribal partnerships and community outreach  

Visit the College and Career Readiness collection to find resources about college and career readiness and access. Available resources include fact sheets, infographics, and an educational brief.