Indian Education Articles: Early Childhood Education

Trends in Early Childhood Education for Native American Pupils

This article describes early trends emerging in programs of early childhood education for Native American students and, in particular, trends that link schooling to parents and community.  These programs provided rich and appropriate resources that paid off in terms of children’s success and interest in education.

Foerster, L.M. & Little Soldier, D.,( February, 1977).  Educational Leadership, retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_197702_foerster.pdf

Improving Academic Performance among Native American Student – A Review of the Research Literature

This classic literature review identifies research project with information on factors and programs associated with improved academic performance of Native students.  The findings are organized into six themes with early childhood environment and experiences being one of the themes.

Demmert, W. G., (December, 2001). ERIC Clearing House on Education and Small Schools.  Retrieved 6/5/2014 from:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ERIC-ED463917/pdf/ERIC-ED463917.pdf

For Each and Every Child

This is a report from The Equity and Excellence Commission, a federal advisory committee chartered by Congress. The commission’s charge was to provide advice to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education on the disparities in meaningful educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap, with a focus on systems of finance, and to recommend ways in which federal policies could address such disparities. One chapter of the report addresses the need to ensure access to high-quality early childhood education.  Universal access to high-quality early learning programs must be a matter of the highest national priority, with a special priority for children in our poorest communities.  In addition, it was recommended that the Bureau of Indian Education should also work to expand access to full-day kindergarten programs for students from low-income backgrounds.

U.S. Department of Education, (February, 2013). Retrieved from: http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/eec/equity-excellence-commission-report.pdf

An Investigation of How Culture Shapes Curriculum in Early Care and Education Programs on a Native American Indian Reservation

This article investigates how culture shapes instruction in three early care and education programs on the Flathead Indian Reservation.  Interviews with eight early childhood teachers as well as classroom observations were conducted the investigation is framed by the following research question: How does the culture of the family and community shape curriculum? Data analysis suggested that ongoing communication with parents and community about teaching within a culturally relevant context, building a sense of belongingness and community through ritual, and respecting children, families, and community were essential to defining the Native American Indian culture within these early learning programs.

Gilliard, J. L. & Moore, R. A., (February, 2007).  Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 34, No. 4.

Access for a fee:  http://link.springer.com/journal/10643

Supporting Native Indian Preschoolers and Their Families: Family – School – Community Partnerships

This article briefly reviews the status of urban indigenous families and discusses an innovative all-Native-American preschool, an early childhood initiative created to address the achievement gap.

McWilliams, M. S., Maldonado,-Mancebo, T., Szczepaniak, P. S., & Jones, J., (November, 2011). Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201111/McWilliams_Family_-_School_-_Community_Partnerships_Online%201111.pdf

Native American Issues in Early Childhood Education

The educational community has yet to deal with problems related to how Native American cultures and peoples are represented, or omitted, from the curriculum in schools.  While interest in multicultural education continues, issues such as the blatant stereotyping of Native peoples with schools, and their almost total exclusion from curriculum materials, co not make it to the table to be discussed. Problems related to the portrayal of Native American peoples also abound within the early childhood field.  Little thought is given to Native cultures.  This book chapter addresses those issues.

Jones, G. W. & Moomaw, S., (2002). Lessons From Turtle Island: Native Curriculum in Early Childhood Classrooms, Chapter 1. Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://opi.mt.gov/PDF/IndianEd/EarlyChildhood/Ch1_Lessons_TurtleIsland.pdf

Head Start Tribal Consultation – Region IX

This report summarizes the 2012 meeting of the Region IX Tribal Consultation session organized to get timely and meaningful input from representatives of Tribal governments prior to the development of policies and regulations that significantly affect Tribes and AI/AN children and families.

Office of Head Start, (March, 2012). Retrieved 6/5/2012 from: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/states/aian/pdf/032212-az-ohs-tc-report.pdf

A Summary of Research and Publications on Early Childhood for American Indian and Alaska Native Children

This report centers on research literature while providing lessons from non-research publications as well. Information is organized in two segments: the first segment summarizes issues and observations from position papers, opinions, experiences, and syntheses; the second segment presents, in the style of an annotated bibliography, information from research studies.

Head Start Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2003, March). Retrieved 6/5/2012  from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/aian/reports/aian_summary/aian_sum.pdf.

State of the Field in the Early childhood Education of American Indian and Alaska Native Children

Presentation for the Partnerships for Promising Practices in Indian Education in Rapid City, SD.  Power point presentation briefly overview research and findings in the field of early childhood education for AI/AN children. A resource list is provided.

Faircloth, S.C., (July, 2008).  Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/Title%20Programs%20and%20Services/ESOL/EarlyChildhoodedpptFaircloth.pdf

Culture and Early Childhood Learning

Learning mediated by culture requires consideration of a cultural context that cannot be reduced to laboratory conditions Natural experiments are often-employed research settings using follow-up studies in one culture or collecting comparative data from several cultures. Michael Cole has elaborated a specially-designed form of activity, called the “Fifth Dimension” environment as a sustainable subculture for learning.  Its principals are used for the research of cultural learning in play settings.  This article examines the complex topic.

Cole, M., Hakkarainen, P., & Bredikyte, M. (February, 2010).  Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/documents/Cole-Hakkarainen-BredikyteANGxp.pdf

The FACE Program

The Family and Child Education (FACE) Program has served over 38,512 participants (18,093 adults and 20,419 children) from about 15,400 Native American families since it began in 1991 by the Office of Indian Education Programs/Bureau of Indian Affairs, now the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). BIE brought Parents As Teachers National Center and the National Center for Family Literacy together to create this model for early childhood/parental involvement, currently in 44 BIE-funded schools. The emphasis has been on school readiness through culturally responsive education, resources and support for American Indian families with children prenatal through grade three. This article describes both the home-based and center-based program.

Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://faceresources.org/index.php?page=FACE-at-a-Glance

American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Health, Development, and Education Assessment Research

This digest reports on the very limited research that has focused specifically on early childhood issues in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health, development, and education. Extant research focuses primarily on infant mortality, birth weight and growth, obesity, and hearing and speech. Beginning in 1985, a longitudinal study called the Flower of Two Soils investigated intellectual development, mental health, and academic achievement among young Native children. Various reports based on this study looked at differences in IQ scores between Native and non-Native children; the influences of poverty, poor prenatal care, English-language skills, and parental educational attitudes on those differences; and the possible relationship of culture to symptoms of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders. Other studies have evaluated various approaches to assessing language-learning disabilities in young Native children who may have limited English-language skills. The ongoing Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, which includes an oversample of AI/AN children entering kindergarten, is conducting a thorough study of AI/AN early childhood health, development, and education.

Hammer, P. C. & Demmert, W. G. (2003). ERIC Digest. Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED482326

 American Indian and Alaska Native Children Findings From the Base Year of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), E.D. TAB

This E.D. TAB briefly profiles American Indian and Alaska Native children born in the year 2001. In the base-year collection of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS–B), when the children were about 9 months of age, the study interviewed parents (typically the mother), assessed children, and gathered information directly from the children’s father. This report focuses on the information gathered from American Indian and Alaska Native children and their families, providing basic demographic information on the children, information on some of their specific mental and physical skills, a brief profile of their experiences in child care, and, since the ECLS–B is one of the first national studies to collect information specifically from fathers, some descriptive information on the percentage of children with fathers in their lives. The ECLS–B was designed to provide more reliable estimates of information on American Indian and Alaska Native children than is often available in other national studies of child outcomes.

DeVoe, J. F., Darling-Churchill, K. D. & Snyder, T. D. (September, 2008). Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/lps62725/LPS62725.pdf

An Investigation of How Culture Shapes Curriculum in Early Care and Education programs on a Native American Indian Reservation

This article investigates how culture shapes instruction in three early care and education programs on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Interviews with eight early childhood teachers as well as classroom observations were conducted. The investigation is framed by the following research question: How does the culture of the family and community shape curriculum? Data analysis suggested that ongoing communication with parents and community about teaching within a culturally relevant context, building a sense of belongingness and community through ritual, and respecting children, families, and community were essential to defining the Native American Indian culture within these early learning programs.

Gilliard, J. L. & Moore, R. A. (February, 2007).  Early Childhood Education Journal.  Article can be previewed at:  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10643-006-0136-5#page-1

 Wakanyeja – Early Childhood Education Initiative

 The American Indian College Fund, through the Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” – Tribal College Readiness and Success by Third Grade, is working to bring together tribal colleges, communities, educators, and families to address early learning disparities in Native communities. In 2011, four tribal colleges were selected through a competitive process to participate in the Wakanyeja ECE Initiative and received up to $935,000 over four years to develop and strengthen early childhood education programs at tribal colleges. The Wakanyeja ECE Initiative grantees are: Ilisagvik College (Barrow, AK), College of Menominee Nation (Keshena, WI), Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (Albuquerque, NM), and Northwest Indian College (Bellingham, WA).  The website provides information on the Wakanyeja initiative.

 Retrieved 6/5/2014 from: http://www.collegefund.org/content/wakanyeja

Establishing a Research Agenda for American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Program

To support the development and implementation of research within and by tribal communities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a contract to review and explore research needs for American Indian / Alaska Native (AI/AN) Head Start programs. This report summarizes the findings from the initiative and directions for developing scientifically valid information that can be used to address matters of consequence for AI/AN Head Start programs.

Head Start Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2004, March). Retrieved 6/5/2014  from:  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/aian/reports/aian/aian_rep.pdf