Preparing teachers as allies in Indigenous education: benefits of an American Indian content and pedagogy course

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Teaching Education, ISSN: 1047-6210, Vol: 28, Issue: 2, Page: 145-161

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Brian D. McInnes
Informa UK Limited
Social Sciences
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article description
The study explores relationship building and improvements in knowledge, skills, and dispositions of pre-service teachers enrolled in an Indigenous education content and pedagogy methods course. The Teaching American Indian Students in the Elementary Classroom course stands alone from other diversity education offerings at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is a required learning experience. Pre-service teachers are provided with essential knowledge and learning opportunities that facilitate success in working with Indigenous students, and helping mainstream students learn about Native history, peoples, and communities. The evaluation study was conducted by an Indigenous faculty member interested in learning how non-Native teacher education students felt they were achieving target knowledge, skills, and dispositional goals. Three separate groups of teacher education students completed both pre and post online surveys as a part of a three-year mixed methods evaluation study. The study shows significant gains made by pre-service teachers in each of the target areas, and affirms that methods coursework in American Indian education can lead to more interculturally competent teacher candidates. Helping teacher education students develop the requisite abilities and dispositions to fulfill Native American education objectives is contributory to developing future teachers as competent professionals and allies in Indigenous and diversity education.