Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators

The Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators (DINÉ) is a partnership between Northern Arizona University and schools on the Navajo Nation who are participating in the Yale National Initiative. The Institute provides innovative K-12 teacher professional development that elevates curricular rigor and strengthens culturally responsive teaching in public, BIE, and tribally-controlled schools across Navajo.

Teachers who are DINÉ Fellows participate in a long-term seminar that will increase their:

  • Content knowledge
  • Curriculum-development skills
  • Capacity to deliver culturally responsive lessons
  • Leadership ability
  • Writing capacity

Seminars are led by University faculty who are content experts. Teachers learn the seminar material through reading, discussion, and independent research. Each teacher writes a unique curriculum unit for use in their classroom.

The Yale National Initiative aims to strengthen teaching in our nation’s public K-12 schools. The Initiative offers National Seminars at Yale University and supports local community-based Teachers Institutes. This is a teacher-driven initiative that serves high-needs communities and includes teachers across all grade levels and content areas.

The Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators is centered around 5 guiding principles:

  • Diné and other Native youth are highly capable but often learn in schools that lack adequate educational resources.
  • Diné elders and communities are rich sources and sites of knowledge.
  • Teachers serving Diné and other Native youth are highly capable and also deeply constrained given the contexts in which they work.
  • Culturally responsive schooling is a best practice.
  • Improving teaching and the educational attainment of Diné and other Native youth is a necessary component for the tribal nation (re)building goals of sovereign Native Nations in the U.S.
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