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Cheechako Teacher: Narratives Of First -Year Teachers In Rural Alaska

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dc.contributor.author Carter, Stephen Ruben
dc.date.accessioned 2018-07-26T21:19:39Z
dc.date.available 2018-07-26T21:19:39Z
dc.date.issued 2006
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11122/8870
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2006
dc.description.abstract Seventy percent of teachers in rural Alaska come from the lower 48, most having little to no introduction to the culture they are entering or what will be asked of them as teachers. The turnover rate of teachers in rural Alaska far outstrips the national average; in some rural districts turnover is nearly 100 percent each year. This leads us to conclude that the first year of teaching in rural Alaska must be highly charged experience. Though many studies have been done on first-year teachers in rural Alaska, none has focused on the teachers' personal writings produced while in the midst of their experience. This study is a narrative inquiry into the first-person accounts of first-year teachers in rural Alaska from 1896 to 2006. The study constructs "plot points" (meaning events and tensions that drive the teachers' narratives) that delimit the structure of the average first-year Alaskan teacher story. The accounts are divided into two sections: historical accounts and contemporary accounts. Each of these sections is divided according to a series of plot points, namely: (1) the decision, (2) the arrival, (3) the first day of school, (4) collisions, (5) integration, and (6) effectiveness (historical section only), and (7) the final decision (contemporary teachers only). The study points out the similarities and contrasts between historical accounts and contemporary accounts and seeks to bring these into dialogue with Alaska-specific pedagogical theories. The study concludes that the utility of first year teachers' writings is not derived from their prescriptions, but their descriptions. Thus, the study recommends (1) that more first-person written narratives be gathered from first-year teachers in rural Alaska to facilitate a more in depth study, (2) that new teachers in Alaska avail themselves of the written narratives of their professional forebears, (3) that Alaska's public education system create room for first-year teachers to tell their stories in non judgmental settings, and (4) that future study also focus on perceptions of first-year teachers by their students and village.
dc.subject Bilingual education
dc.subject Teacher education
dc.subject Education history
dc.title Cheechako Teacher: Narratives Of First -Year Teachers In Rural Alaska
dc.type Thesis
dc.type.degree phd
dc.identifier.department Department of English
dc.contributor.chair Bird, Roy


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