Issues With Native American Education Essay

1638 words - 7 pages

Education has been a topic of controversy for many years now, and will continue to be for years to come. The modern American society is best defined by its education. A good part of the average person’s life is spent at school, going to school, and paying for school. However, even though education is so obviously very important, there are many groups in America that are getting shorted. The Native Americans are a key group that has struggled the most. The largest obstacle they face is lack of proper education. The standard educational practices being used for the instruction of Native American peoples are not effective. There are many pieces to this road-block, and many solutions. ...view middle of the document...

These two things have been proven to be large risk factors for drop-outs. Their children in turn may also drop out, leading them back to the situation their parents were in. However, there are even more risk-factors that many Native American people continue to face.
Another difficulty many Native American students are faced with is high absent rates. “In 2005 Native American eighth graders had the highest rate of absences of any race or ethnic group in the preceding month- 66 % of Native American students had been absent, and 30 % had been absent three of more times in the past month.” (Doak 37) It boils down to the fact that students need to be in school to succeed in school. These absences can be attributed to a uninviting school setting. Often times Native American students are overlooked in classrooms in favor of other students who are seem more likely to do well. A school environment that is unwelcoming can be a strong deterrent for any student. These students need to feel that their education is helping them, and that it is worthwhile.
There are a lot of things that help improve this situation, one of them being an increased awareness of what seems to have become a societal difference, and what can be done about it. One of the biggest hurdles, a lack of information about the educational system in general, can be easily resolved: by teaching the students’ families about it. If these students’ families have also dropped out of high school, it becomes even more important for them to learn exactly why their children need to stay in school. Brochures and posters would be a way to start, ones created specifically with the Native peoples in mind. Another great step would be more parent-teacher conferences. The family needs to understand how important this is in society, and what exactly their child can gain from it, and how important it is to be involved in their child’s school life. One of the most important things in any education is family involvement. It would also be a venue in which both the teachers and Native students’ families could work together to understand the situation more. This is where action needs to be decided upon, like routines that would be beneficial to the students learning.
Only so much can be done immediately for poverty-stricken Native American families, some responsibility lies in the teacher as well. This is a situation that requires improvements on both ends. There are many teachers who genuinely want the best for their students, but there is an equal amount that do not. Sadly, with minorities, it is easily apparent when the teacher is one of the un-sincere ones. This is because they will not put forth the extra effort to understand where their student is coming from, and remain rigid in their teachings. This is very harmful to the Native American students because with so much prejudice and misconceptions, the students will often withdraw and make their school experience that much...

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