Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, April 11

NAU College of Education publishes new book

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - NAU's College of Education has published a new book entitled, "Honoring Our Heritage: Culturally Appropriate Approaches to Teaching Indigenous Students" and edited by NAU professors Jon Reyhner, Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert and Louise Lockard in 2011.

This book is the seventh in a series of monographs related to teaching Indigenous students published by NAU, and it is dedicated to dedicated to the memory of William G. Demmert Jr. (Tlingit/Ogala Lakota) who spent his life working to improve the education of Indigenous students, including helping found the National Indian Education Association (NIEA).

The editors anticipate that this collection of nine papers will assist educators and policy makers to better understand how the education of Indigenous children can be improved through building on their cultural heritage and involving their families and local communities.

The first two chapters

give an overview of culture-based education. Then examples are presented of how Indigenous students and teachers can be "turned on" to education and appreciate Indigenous knowledge through science, art and history.

This section includes chapters on Developing Culturally Based Science Curriculum for Native American Classrooms by Gilbert (Hopi), former president of the National Indian Education Association, and Problem-Based Learning: Valuing Cultural Diversity in Science Education with Native Students co-authored by MaryLynn Quartaroli, Director of NAUʻs NEXUS Math/Science project, and Frederick Sherman (Navajo), Senior Environmental Specialist with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency. The last two chapters describe examples of community Indigenous educational involvement.

Leaders in the field of Indigenous education have noted that this new book is an important addition to the field of American Indian and Indigenous education.

Dr. David Beaulieu, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University and former President, National Indian Education Association writes that it "is an informative and welcomed addition to the literature on culturally-based education illustrating engaging strategies for developing effective and meaningful education programs for Indigenous students."

Lily Wong Fillmore, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley writes, "Honoring Our Heritage should be required reading for any educator who works with Indigenous students--perhaps by all educators in our diverse society. Far too many children are turned off to school when they discover that all that they have learned from home, family and community counts for little at school."

Fillmore continues, "They must become someone other than themselves, speak a language that may not express their truest intentions, and behave like strangers to matter there."

Dr. Teresa L. McCarty, Alice Wiley Snell Professor of Education Policy Studies and Co-director, Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University notes, "In this wonderful collection, the editors gather together "stories of success" in Indigenous culturally based education. Combining theory with practice, and spanning multiple content areas, the book is rich with strategies and hands-on resources for inquiry-oriented, place-based instruction. With examples from South Asia to the Southwestern U.S., the Great Lakes to the Great Plains, readers will find clear pedagogical models that honor who Native students are by honoring their heritage and the contemporary contexts of their lives."

The entire contents of this new paperback book are freely available on-line at

Donate Report a Typo Contact