• Pedagogy for reading in rural Alaska: the effect of culturally relevant reading materials on student reading achievement in Chevak, Alaska

      Geiges, Beth J.; Leonard, Beth; Topkok, Sean; John, Theresa; Adams, Barbara (2017-12)
      This study used Culturally Relevant Reading materials (CRRM) with a proprietary, culturally relevant pedagogy for Reading. It was focused on results in Reading Achievement, both reading fluency and comprehension, involving 7th and 8th grade students in a twelve (12)-week program of Reading Language Arts. It was an exploratory sequential mixed methods study using a quasi-experimental design, with two student groups, A and B, experimental and control respectively. The results are situated within cultural expert views of Native perspectives on reading from the community as well as student surveys on motivation. Results from the study indicate that student achievement in Reading using the CRRM program, as measured by standardized tests, namely Edformation's AIMSweb® (2002) tests of both R-CBM and MAZE, met with similar results in student Reading achievement using a Western curricular program. Both control and experimental groups in the quasi-experimental, exploratory sequential mixed methods study showed significant growth in Reading achievement in both fluency and comprehension, on standardized tests over a 12-week interval. Results from the study showed students in the CRRM program showed no significantly greater growth in reading comprehension or fluency during the study, as measured by AIMSweb® tests of MAZE and R-CBM. Student survey results showed increases in student motivation to read, enjoyment of reading class, and desire to read CRRM. Written questionnaires from community members outlined criteria for student success in reading. The results indicate that Alaska Native culturally relevant materials and teaching techniques can be used interchangeably with Western curricular materials in Alaska Native village schools with expectation of similar success in student Reading achievement. Students are eager to have CRRM in Language Arts classes, and the community is encouraged by the promising results.
    • Tangerqengiaraucaraq (being present)

      John-Shields, Agatha; Siekmann, Sabine; Parker-Webster, Joan; Barnhardt, Raymond; Vinlove, Amy (2018-08)
      This qualitative, participatory action research was conducted to investigate the following research questions: What are the attitudes of the teachers in ESDY 630: Language, Culture and Teaching in Secondary Schools class toward culturally responsive teaching and learning? How does participating in ESDY 630: Language, Culture and Teaching in Secondary Schools class affect attitudes of the educators? How do educators co-construct the relationship between standards and culturally responsive teaching and learning? Data were gathered from five pre-service teachers in the University of Alaska Anchorage Master of Arts in Teaching program in a 2-credit Language, Culture, and Teaching in Secondary Schools class. Data consisted of class recordings, student artifacts, teacher researcher journal and informal interviews. The data were analyzed using Constructive Grounded Theory framework. Tangerqengiaraucaraq (Being Present) emerged as a key concept based on the themes identified in the data: Becoming Aware, Adapting, Knowing Self and Others, and Building Relationship. The qasgiq (Indigenous community center) is proposed as a model to support ways to become a culturally responsive teacher.