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  • Alaska Native scholars: a mixed methods investigation of factors influencing PhD attainment

    Jones, Alberta J.; Barnhardt, Ray; Vinlove, Amy; Leonard, Beth; Roehl, Roy (2018-05)
    This study entitled, "Alaska Native Scholars: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Factors Influencing PhD Attainment," investigates the contributing factors influencing the attainment of PhD degrees by Alaska Natives. Originating from a cross-section of rural and urban Alaska communities and tribal ethnicities, this group of scholars attended graduate schools throughout the country. Today many of these PhDs work in universities, conduct research, and advocate for Indigenous people in various leadership roles, both in and outside of Alaska. This study's assumption is these PhD graduates have gained valuable lessons along their path to success and an examination of these factors is relevant to advancing that successs. The findings analyze results from a survey instrument with approximately a 92% response rate from all living Alaska Native PhD/EdD graduates that were able to be located at the time, up to early 2015. Survey participants shared personal, demographic, cultural, social, academic, and economic factors both supporting and hindering PhD attainment. Survey data was validated by ten personal interviews with PhDs from eight different Alaska Native tribes. One goal of this study was to increase our knowledge of the circumstances and factors of Alaska Native doctoral graduates and to build upon knowledge necessary to increase interest and enrollment of Alaska Native PhD graduates. Some questions examined by this study are: What sets of factors do AN PhDs have in common which led to their success? What challenges and barriers are specific to the Alaska Native demographics? If patterns of successful factors exist, can these factors be replicated to expand Alaska Native participation in PhD or other graduate programs? Are there 'lessons learned' in terms of aiding university PhD programs in attracting and graduating Alaska Native students? A stronger PhD representation of this population has implications for leadership, education, business, and policy-making roles serving to increase Indigenous self-determination. Additionally, this research has implications for universities seeking to address gaps in Alaska Native and American Indian faculty representation.
  • Librarian and Faculty Collaborative Instruction: A Phenomenological Self-Study

    Brown, Jennifer; Duke, Thomas (Elsevier, 2005)
    Several models of librarian and faculty collaboration are found in the professional librarian literature. The literature on collaborative self-study research in higher education settings indicates collaborative self-study research can improve interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to teaching and research and facilitate the transfer of knowledge. A research librarian and assistant professor of special education conducted a phenomenological self-study to examine their multiple roles as researchers, collaborators, and educators who collaborated to develop, implement, and evaluate distance-delivered instructional services for public school teachers who live and work in remote, rural, and Native communities throughout the state of Alaska. Several themes emerged from this study, including: (a) the authors’ interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts resulted in increased opportunities to team teach and conduct future collaborative research; (b) the authors struggled to communicate effectively with students via audio-conference; and (c) the beliefs and practices of both authors were transformed by their participation in this self-study. The study suggests implications for further and improved interdisciplinary collaboration between librarians and faculty. The authors believe this collaborative approach to self-study research facilitates reflective and authentic teaching and research for academic librarians working in collaboration with teaching faculty.
  • Culturally responsive teaching and student self-efficacy in Alaskan middle schools

    Christian, Scott; Kaden, Ute; John, Theresa; Sesko, Amanda; Ontooguk, Paul; Jester, Timothy (2017-12)
    Culturally responsive teaching may provide practices and dispositions which support closing the achievement gap between minority and Caucasian student populations. For this research, culturally responsive teaching can be considered as teaching practices that address students' specific cultural characteristics. These characteristics include common practices such as language, values and traditions but also include concepts such as communication, learning styles, and relationship norms. The research also presents a definition of culturally responsive teaching that extends beyond curriculum and instruction to focus on student teacher relationships, empathy, and the teacher as learner. This research explores the beliefs and practices around Culturally Responsive Teaching in ten Alaskan Middle Schools. A mixed-methods, sequential explanatory research design was used to answer the research questions: 1. How do teachers identify what is culturally responsive teaching, and what is not? 2. How is culturally responsive teaching implemented in Alaskan middle schools? 3. How is culturally responsive teaching connected to student self-efficacy in Alaskan middle schools? Although culturally responsive teaching has become a recognized practice in the fields of teacher preparation and professional development for teachers, the working definitions as well as evaluation tools are inadequate to describe the actual practice that teachers enact when they are engaged in culturally responsive teaching. Despite state regulations requiring Alaska school districts to include teaching practice of the Alaska Cultural Standards in teacher evaluations, there is only limited focused research available about the implementation of the standards in classrooms. Through semi-structured interviews and surveys with teachers and principals, formal classroom observations, as well as a student self-efficacy survey, this research addresses the lack of research and understanding regarding the relationship between culturally responsive teaching and self-efficacy for middle school students. This study identified the integration of local culture and language into academic content areas, teaching through culture, and the establishment of positive, respectful working relationships with students as promising practices for culturally responsive teaching.
  • Preparing Information Literate Teachers: A Review of the Literature

    Ward, Jennifer Diane; Duke, Thomas Scott (Elsevier, 2010)