By Heidi Toth
The data are clear: young children taught in ways that reflect and highlight their heritage respond better to what they’re learning.
For Native American children, that means having teachers who are educated in best practices and an appreciation for and understanding of Native American people, cultures and nations. A collaborative program at Northern Arizona University will do just that.
A $500,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation—the first grant NAU has earned from the philanthropic organization—is funding Building Tribal Early Childhood Education Capacity, a program that further advances pedagogy relevant to the Native American tribes in northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. Chad Hamill, vice president for the Office of Native American Initiatives (ONAI), and Pamela Powell, associate professor and chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education (COE), are the co-principal investigators for the program.