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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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Mentoring working and novice ASL/English Interpreters

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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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Date Created
2012

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

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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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Date Created
2011

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Factors influencing academic achievement for Salt River students

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ABSTRACT Native American students from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community have attended Stapley Junior High, one of 13 junior high schools in the Mesa Unified School District, since its doors opened in the fall of 1994. Over the years

ABSTRACT Native American students from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community have attended Stapley Junior High, one of 13 junior high schools in the Mesa Unified School District, since its doors opened in the fall of 1994. Over the years a variety of instructional practices have been used in an effort to improve academic outcomes for these students, who have posed a challenge to traditional educational methods. Interviews were conducted with eight educational professionals, including teachers, administrators, and a tutor who worked with these students on a daily basis. They each responded to the same series of questions, providing their insights based on first-hand interactions and knowledge. The interviews revealed factors that influenced student academic success, including caring, trust, communication, tutoring, and administrative support. Factors posing challenges to student success were identified as attendance, parental support, and gangs and drugs. In-school influences were arts and sports, friendship, inclusion, and behavior. Out-of-school influences were home and family, the concept of time, and educational considerations. The conclusion is that this is a complex problem, fueled by the proximity of the reservation to a major metropolitan area, the gang culture that is prevalent in the Salt River community, poverty, attendance issues, and the impact of parental involvement and support. The things that made a difference at Stapley Jr. High included staff who demonstrated caring by establishing trust and getting to know students on a personal level, teachers who were consistent and held students to a high standard, and teachers who were flexible with regard to time.

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2012

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The cultural capital of American Indian students in an off-reservation public high school

Description

The growing population of American Indian students who attend off-reservation school has been under researched. This absence in American Indian education research, their unique needs, and their growing numbers warrant more attention. To address this absence in education research literature,

The growing population of American Indian students who attend off-reservation school has been under researched. This absence in American Indian education research, their unique needs, and their growing numbers warrant more attention. To address this absence in education research literature, this study captures the experiences of American Indian students in an off-reservation high school. Through Social Reproduction Theory and Cultural Capital Theory this qualitative study makes known the varying ways that American Indian students in off-reservation high schools comply and resist formal schooling. Through interviews and observations of these students, in addition their teachers and administrators, I document and interpret their experiences. The data suggest that American Indian students strongly connect to and use their tribal identities to negotiate school. By recognizing the rules of the school, these students employ different forms of cultural and social capital, specifically the importance of space and forms of communication. Even though their high school has a high population of American Indian students, they continue to experience challenges in academic success through stereotypical assumptions, expected roles, and structural barriers. Illustrating student identity as effects of the social reproduction process clearly demonstrates resistance, compliance, and agency of these students in their high school.

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Date Created
2014

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ONYX (Oohoo'aah, Na'nitin Yee nooseel Xploria): a proposal for an innovative school for Navajo children

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to describe a new school model for Dine (Navajo) learners where Dine students will experience how to apply knowledge and skills personally, meaningfully, and socially relevant to life situations through the medium of Dine

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to describe a new school model for Dine (Navajo) learners where Dine students will experience how to apply knowledge and skills personally, meaningfully, and socially relevant to life situations through the medium of Dine language and culture maintenance. This study explored a new way to perpetuate Dine (Navajo) culture and language through a model referred to as M.A.T.S. (Mathematics, Arts, Technology, Science, the renaming of STEM and STEAM). Oohoo’aah, Na’nitin Yee nooseel Xploria, which translates to a Center for Learning, acquiring knowledge and growing through a Navajo approach to exploration) is a public charter school serving students in grades K-3. As a public charter school ONYX is to serve all of Jeddito Community, with 98% ratio of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. ONYX will employ dedicated educators and community members with excellent work ethics who are committed to closing the achievement gap, while promoting a creative outlook on the world around them. Students will leave ONYX School with skills in Navajo Language and Culture with a foundation in M.A.T.S. ONYX School’s educational program will be driven by a belief that all learning will be academically rigorous with a well-designed curriculum to students in becoming lifelong explorers of learning and productive members of society. This will allow ONYX to stay true to the mission to promote K’e (relationship in Navajo Culture), respect for self, others, and environment, most importantly to use natural/traditional scientific skills passed on through Navajo culture. In the learning environment, there will be constant and continuous communication among administrators, teachers, parents, and community leaders. This form of instruction is also transferable to learning how to read and write in Navajo. The program will allow for students to use hands on approach with inquiry based learning with a foundation in Navajo traditional/scientific approach to learning.

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Date Created
2016

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Highly educated Navajo women who pursue their careers off the Navajo reservation

Description

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the lives of highly educated Navajo women who, with their children, left the comfort of their homeland to pursue their careers. Using qualitative research methods, five Navajo women were

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the lives of highly educated Navajo women who, with their children, left the comfort of their homeland to pursue their careers. Using qualitative research methods, five Navajo women were asked to reflect on their lives while on the reservation and in their new location off the Navajo reservation. Among the topics explored were the principal factors as to their leaving the reservation, barriers and supports they faced in their careers, what cultural transitions they experienced, and the effects on their careers, their families and to their personal sense of self.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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What are the limitations to teaching Navajo language in the Head Start Immersion Program?

Description

This study investigated the limitations of Navajo language teaching in Navajo Head Start immersion centers. The research questions asked what did Head Start teachers perceive as barriers to Navajo children successfully learning the Navajo language, what skills and knowledge

This study investigated the limitations of Navajo language teaching in Navajo Head Start immersion centers. The research questions asked what did Head Start teachers perceive as barriers to Navajo children successfully learning the Navajo language, what skills and knowledge did Head Start teachers have that were relevant to teach Head Start children the Navajo language, what Head Start teachers perceived as their strengths and weaknesses of the language immersion program, and what program and instructional qualities promoted and restricted the success of the language program? Two males and six females who resided in the western part of the Navajo Nation wee interviewed as to their teaching experiences. All of the interviewees were between the ages of late 40's to mid-60's and all spoke Navajo fluently. They had been employed with Head Start for more than 10 years. They came from families who had strong beliefs in the Navajo culture and language, and believed all teachers should take Navajo language and culture classes to teach in Head Start. The interviews revealed the participants use their traditional language and culture skills to teach Navajo, but they had limited knowledge as how to use the curriculum provided by Division of Dine Education. The English curriculum was accessible and easy to follow, but did not adhered to President Hale's Executive Order to perpetuate the language. It was recommended that Head Start administrators and support staff review the Navajo language policies and regulations, train teachers how to write a lesson plan that was simple and teacher friendly, revamp the curriculums, and train teachers how to critique, analyze and develop lessons from the Navajo Curriculum. In addition, administrators, should monitor and provide technical assistance to ensure teachers are implementing Navajo language instruction according to Navajo Standards and monitoring each child's progress according to developmental domains and assessment.

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Created

Date Created
2015