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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Traditions and Culture in School


When compared to 4th- and 8th-grade American Indian/Alaska Native students attending low-density schools, higher percentages of students attending high-density schools had teachers who reported that they integrated American Indian/Alaska Native culture and history into their curriculum and principals who reported visits from American Indian/Alaska Native community representatives.

Figure 5.5. Percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students whose teachers integrated American Indian/Alaska Native culture and history into their curriculum, by grade, curriculum, and frequency: 2007
Percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students whose teachers integrated
American Indian/Alaska Native culture and history into their curriculum, by grade,
curriculum, and frequency: 2007
NOTE: School density is based on the percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students enrolled in the school. Low-density schools are schools in which American Indians/Alaska Natives account for less than 25 percent of the total enrollment. Highdensity schools are schools in which American Indians/Alaska Natives account for 25 percent or more of the total enrollment. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. The Educational Experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native Students in Grades 4 and 8 (NCES 2008-458). National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), National Indian Education Study (NIES), 2007.

To gather information about school climate in the 2007 National Indian Education Study (NIES), school teachers and principals were asked questions about school curriculum and activities. These included the extent to which American Indian/Alaska Native traditions and culture were integrated into the academic curriculum and the frequency of visits by community representatives to share such traditions and culture.

In this indicator, school density refers to the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students enrolled. Low-density schools are schools in which American Indians/Alaska Natives account for less than 25 percent of the total enrollment. High-density schools are schools in which American Indians/ Alaska Natives account for 25 percent or more of the total enrollment.

Teachers were asked about the extent to which they integrated American Indian/Alaska Native culture and history into their curriculum. When compared to 4th- and 8th-grade American Indian/Alaska Native students attending low-density schools, higher percentages of students attending high-density schools had teachers who reported that they integrated American Indian/Alaska Native culture and history into their curriculum at least once a week.

At grade 4, school administrators of 31 percent of students attending high-density schools reported that representatives from the American Indian/ Alaska Native community visited their schools to share traditions and culture three or more times in the school year, compared to 9 percent in low-density schools. A similar pattern between high-density schools and low-density schools was seen at grade 8. Administrators of 26 percent of 8th-grade students attending high-density schools reported that opportunities for tribal or community representatives to share traditions or culture occurred three or more times in the school year, compared to 7 percent for low-density schools.

View Table View Table 5.5a View Table View Table 5.5b

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