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How to Teach Native American Students

The abilities of the Native American students are often overlooked by the teachers. In schools, these students face a lot of challenges and if these are not addressed properly then the students won’t learn anything.

The Native American students are different due to their cultural and political backgrounds. So, the teaching approaches must be built accordingly so that they can address their problems to the teachers and learn effectively. Here are some teaching styles that should be adopted in schools for Native American students.

culturally responsive teaching - How to Teach Native American Students

Culturally responsive teaching

There should be an indication of cultural awareness and responsiveness in the curriculums and teaching practices. Their culture must be addressed so that they don’t feel left out. This will also show that their culture is valued. They will also learn about the culture of other Americans and it will help them to adapt.

listen to the students 1 - How to Teach Native American Students

Listen to the students

You must listen to the Native American students. You should know their thoughts and perspectives. You should then incorporate those ideas into the school curriculum and teaching methods. This will help in developing trust and relationships.

support tribal language - How to Teach Native American Students

Support tribal language

The schools must offer dual-language programs so that the Native American students have the option to learn in their language as well. This will help them in understanding things better.

give them more time - How to Teach Native American Students

Give them more time

The teachers should take into consideration the fact that the Native American students have high rates of absenteeism due to reasons that are not in their control. So, more time should be given to them to learn. For example, if you are doing 6th grade math games in school, then you must allow some time so that they can learn the new concept.

A range of math games can also be given as homework or extra work to make-up for work missed.

The school curricula must be developed with the correct information. The cultural information about the Native Americans should be included so that all the students learn about it.

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What Teachers Should Know About Native American Students

It is shocking how the school dropout rate of Native American students is so high. One of the main reasons is that the teachers fail to understand the Native American students are different. Their learning style is different and so the teaching style must be adapted accordingly.

The learning and communication styles of the Native Americans are different. Part of the school curriculum can also be culturally irrelevant to them. The traditional classroom environment may not be ideal for Native American students to learn.

To teach Native American students, the teachers have to understand the way these kids perceive their world. They also need to know about the Native American people and culture before teaching the kids at school.

Today the kids are taught a trial-and-error method. That is, they are asked to solve a problem and if they can’t then they learn from the mistake. But the Native American kids learn from observation and demonstration. This is because this is the way they are taught at home by their parents and the elders. The mathematics class, for example, needs to have lots of visualization.

The Native American students are also field-dependent. They like to work in groups. They look at the authoritative figure for guidance. They cannot perceive themselves as separate from the group. These students tend to be analytical, logical, and competitive.

Generally, the Native American students will take more time to answer a question than the mainstream students. This is because the Native American students try to gather as much evidence as they can before answering the question. They also don’t answer unfamiliar questions as their parents teach them to answer a question correctly.

The teachers must try to change their teaching styles in a way that the Native American students understand. If they introduce any new style, like riddles with answers, then it must be done slowly so that they understand. Brain-training games can be helpful for all