Assimilation versus Cultural Pluralism.
The "?melting pot" idea reflects a premise that minority cultures can and should assimilate into the broader dominant American culture. However, each minority culture has a different history; as a result, each has unique educational needs. Students will respond to the following:
1. What educational needs are peculiar to the Native Americans, and to what extent has the educational system been successful in meeting those needs?
2. Should assimilation be the goal of education in a multicultural society? Why, or why not?
3. Is it possible to achieve equal opportunity for all? Explain your answer.
Native American students tend to be left out of the majority of studies done on achievement gap, this has always puzzled me. They are measured as a separate ethnicity, but in most schools where I have worked the total population of test takers is so small it becomes an insignificant number. This is important! Because if there are too few students taking the tests that measure achievement, they will get left out of how we plan, assess and adjust for their needs.
Coupled with the fact that there are small numbers attending public schools is the socio-economic factor. Reservations are not a place of great wealth, there are usually schools on reservations but they do not attract the highly qualified teachers the children there need.
Native American culture has historically been and continues to be one that is passed on orally. Traditions and knowledge are passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. Think about how different the experience of Kindergarten would be ...
Native American students' academic needs are assessed.