TRIBAL CULTURAL EDUCATIONAL CONCEPTS IN AMERICAN INDIAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE CURRICULA.
AuthorHORSE, PERRY GENE.
KeywordsIndians of North America -- Education (Higher)
Indians of North America -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States.
Community colleges -- Curricula -- United States.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study was undertaken to assess and describe a unique aspect of liberal studies in the curricular of American Indian community colleges. The emergent curricula genre, designated as tribal studies, deals with subjects specific to the ethos of a particular tribal group and is derived from the indigenous culture of the tribe or nation involved. Data were obtained from Indian college practitioners and from organic documents of seventeen tribally-chartered institutions located in seven states. Research questions were formulated to address (1) the nature and status of tribal studies curricula, (2) principal problems and issues, (3) curricular innovations, (4) current trends, (5) the incorporation of tribal ethos in formal academic programs, and (6) attendant research needs. The findings were derived from a descriptive analysis of the data with respect to each research question. Tribal studies curricula were found to be in a formative stage on certain theoretical and normative levels. Innovations were perceived as such owing mainly to their introductory and contextual application rather than any particularly unique methods or approach outside of existing curriculum development practices. The lack of an applicable taxonomic program classification structure hindered the systematic examination of tribal studies curricula, but it was evident that the current trend is toward the teaching of courses dealing with the history, language, philosophy, and literature of a particular tribe. The data indicated very strong support among those surveyed for the idea of inculcating tribal ethos into curricular programs, but the process by which this is done was not clearly articulated. Two principal problems emerged (1) the accreditation of tribal studies, and (2) the dearth of applicable curriculum development research activities. While such curricula have strong philosophical and emotional appeal among Indian college professionals, tribal studies remain somewhat underdeveloped compared with other academic programs. Inasmuch as the academic dimension of the tribal sociocultural milieu was not well elucidated in the data, the specifically Indian, or tribal, content of such curricula eluded precise definition. Tribal studies represent meaning and significance to Indian college practitioners in their own environments, but their evolving role with respect to the cultural/educational processes occurring in contemporary Indian life is subject to further exploration.
Degree ProgramHigher Education