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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

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A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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Date Created
2011

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The Implications of the Navajo Nation Sovereignty in Education Act of 2005 on Arizona reservation public schools

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In 2005, the Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act was signed into law by the Navajo Nation. Like the No Child Left Behind Act, this Navajo Nation legislation was as much a policy statement as it was a law. It marked

In 2005, the Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act was signed into law by the Navajo Nation. Like the No Child Left Behind Act, this Navajo Nation legislation was as much a policy statement as it was a law. It marked the first time that the Navajo Nation linked sovereignty with education by expressing its intent to control all education within its exterior boundaries. The objective of the law was to create a department of education that would resemble the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah in which the Navajo Nation resides. Through their department of education, the Navajo Nation would operate the educational functions for its populace. This study looked at the implications and impact that perspectives of this law would have on public schools within Arizona from the perspective of five superintendents in Arizona public schools within the Navajo Nation were gained through open-ended interviews. It examined the legal, fiscal, and curricular issues through the prism of sovereignty. Through the process of interviews utilizing a set of guided questions in a semi-structured format, five superintendents in Arizona public schools within the Navajo Nation shared their perspectives. Analysis of the five interviews revealed curriculum, funding, jurisdictional, and fear or mistrust as problems the Navajo Nation will need to overcome if it is to begin full control of all aspects of education within its boundaries. There is a strong need for the Department of Dine' Education to educate public schools with regards to the Navajo Nation Sovereignty in Education Act of 2005. Administrators need more training in tribal governments. Like the constitution, the Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act will be interpreted differently by different people. But, without action, it will be ignored. Within the Act's pages are the hopes of the Navajo Nation and the dreams for our young Navajo students.

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Date Created
2011

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Mentoring working and novice ASL/English Interpreters

Description

The purpose of the research conducted and presented in this thesis is to explore mentoring programs for ASL/English Interpreters, with a focus on the question "Is a Peer Mentoring Program a successful approach to mentoring working and novice interpreter?" The

The purpose of the research conducted and presented in this thesis is to explore mentoring programs for ASL/English Interpreters, with a focus on the question "Is a Peer Mentoring Program a successful approach to mentoring working and novice interpreter?" The method of qualitative data collection was done via questionnaires and interviews with past participants of a Peer Mentoring Program and questionnaires to identified persons who have experience creating and running mentoring programs. The results of the data collection show that a Peer Mentoring Program is a successful approach to mentoring working and novice interpreters. This research provides valued information in regard to the experience of persons in a Peer Mentoring Program as well as successful aspects of such a mentoring approach.

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Created

Date Created
2012

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White dreams, another world: exploring the racial beliefs of White administrators in multicultural settings

Description

Although racial minorities are heavily represented in student bodies throughout the United States, school administrators who work with minority children have been overwhelmingly White. Previous research by race scholars has demonstrated that systems of racial dominance in the larger society

Although racial minorities are heavily represented in student bodies throughout the United States, school administrators who work with minority children have been overwhelmingly White. Previous research by race scholars has demonstrated that systems of racial dominance in the larger society are often replicated in schools. However, the role of White school administrators in perpetuating or disrupting racism has not been documented. This study examined the racial attitudes and resulting professional practices of White school administrators who worked in a unique environment. These administrators lived and practiced their profession in towns that lay just outside the borders of the Navajo Nation, a large Indian reservation in the Four Corners region of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Termed border towns, these communities were populated by a large majority of Native Americans, with a heavy representation of Hispanics. This placed White school administrators in the uncommon position of living and working in a place where they were a numeric minority, while simultaneously representing the majority culture in the United States. Twelve White border town administrators in four different communities agreed to participate in the interview study, conducted over a two-month period in 2010 and 2011. Using a semi-structured interview format, the researcher gathered data on participants' racial attitudes and analyzed responses to find common themes. Common responses among the interviewees indicated that there were clear racial hierarchies within border town schools and that these hierarchies were sometimes atypical of those found in mainstream American society. These racial hierarchies were characterized by a dichotomy of Native American students based on residence in town or on the reservation, as well as deferential treatment of White administrators by Native American constituents. The intersectionality of race and socioeconomic class was a key finding of the study, with implications for school administrators' professional actions. Racial attitudes also impacted White border town administrators' actions and sometimes reinforced institutionally racist practices. Finally, results of the study supported several established models of race relations and White identity formation.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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Navajo female participation in high school volleyball and its correlation/impact on postsecondary success

Description

The purpose of this study was to identify, describe, and analyze Navajo female participation in high school volleyball and its affects on success in higher education. The research was an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact athletics,

The purpose of this study was to identify, describe, and analyze Navajo female participation in high school volleyball and its affects on success in higher education. The research was an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact athletics, namely volleyball, has within the Diné culture; and how the impact of those role models who provided leadership through athletic instruction had on the lives of Navajo female student athletes in their postsecondary experiences. The qualitative research was an opportunity to recognize that the interviewing process is synonymous and conducive to oral traditions told by Indigenous people. The population consisted of 11 Navajo female student athletes who were alumna of Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona, located on the Navajo Nation and who had participated in four years of Mustang volleyball from 2000-2010, either currently attending or graduated from a postsecondary institution, and although not a set criterion, played collegiate volleyball. Results indicated that participation in high school volleyball provided the necessary support and overarching influence that increased self-esteem or self-efficacy that led toward college enrollment, maintaining retention, and long-term academic success. Diné teachings of Aszdáá Nádleehé (Changing Woman) through the age old practice of the Kinaaldá ceremony for young Navajo pubescent girls marking their transition into womanhood, the practice of K'é, and Sa'ah naagháí bi'keeh hózhóón were all prominent Diné principles that resonated with the Navajo female student athletes. The leadership skills that the Navajo female student athletes acquired occurred based on the modification and adaptation of two cultures of two given societies: mainstream non-Native, Euro-centric society, and Diné society. The lifestyle, cultural beliefs, and teachings define the identity of female student athletes and the essence of their being.  

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Created

Date Created
2012

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Barriers and encounters of Navajo female administrators

Description

ABSTRACT

Past research has determined the glass ceiling is still unbroken and that few women hold top positions as administrators as opposed to men. Men continue to dominate women in occupations of superintendent and secondary principals of schools. Cultural beliefs

ABSTRACT

Past research has determined the glass ceiling is still unbroken and that few women hold top positions as administrators as opposed to men. Men continue to dominate women in occupations of superintendent and secondary principals of schools. Cultural beliefs and traditions set limitations for Navajo female administrators regarding the taboo of “women can’t lead” mentality. The research questions in this study addressed perceived obstacles and barriers facing Navajo female school administrators, the extent Navajo female administrators believe Navajo beliefs limit their career advancement, and if Navajo female administrators believe they encounter more obstacles than their male counterparts.

Data were collected from 30 Navajo female administrators in public and bureau-operated schools in New Mexico. The survey consisted of 21 questions in a Likert-scale format with restricted responses, accessed on a Survey Monkey website. Results of the survey indicated that the respondents generally believed their career choice and opportunities were supported. However, approximately a quarter of the respondents believed support and opportunities were limited. And the overall data suggest there is room for improvement in all areas. In spite of the negative views, the respondents believe other women should be encouraged to go into school administration.

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Created

Date Created
2016