Native American or Indigenous Learning Research:
A Pathfinder



Introduction
Annotated Bibliography
Pathfinder

Course and Compiler Information

Native American or Indigenous Learning Research: A Pathfinder
1. Introduction

Purpose and Content

This pathfinder presents resources for educators of Native American students in tribal colleges on the topic of “Indigenous Learning Research.” Sources included are only Web-based and consist of educational organizations, Native American sources of information, and research articles in the area of Native American learning styles. The pathfinder is restricted to Web-based resources due to the lack of print resources available to tribal college communities and educators.

Native American educational history has had many changes and growing pains. Current statistics label Native American students as “at-risk.” The research sources presented in this pathfinder indicate the reasoning behind learning research regarding indigenous populations and the educational theories that apply. Furthermore, educational and learning research provides not only new ideas but suggestions for implementation.
Most of the research available in indigenous education pertains to K-12 students or pertains to indigenous students in public education environments. However, the need for improvement of indigenous educational philosophy can easily be informed by educational research from many of these sources.

Many questions can be answered through the use of this pathfinder:

· What do I need to know about indigenous cultures in order to teach in these environments?
· Is there any research that is currently being done?
· Why is it necessary to understand learning skills and strategies of indigenous peoples in order to effectively teach?
· Is the nature of an indigenous learning environment substantially different from education in other environments?
· Once I understand and have seen the research that is available, how do I implement what I have learned into my teaching of indigenous people?
· Are there resources available for assessing the learning styles of my students?
Following the introduction, an annotated bibliography will list pertinent sources of learning research and indigenous educational research. The annotations are provided to make the usefulness of the sources evident. An educator to indigenous college age students will gain from the pathfinder a better sense of the sources available to them in educational research areas. Specific articles regarding learning styles of indigenous students are provided as well.

Search Strategy for Pathfinder

Although searching for information appears to be quite non-linear, the searching executed to create this pathfinder can be described in terms of resources and search terms used. First of all, the Web search engine called “Google” was consulted for preliminary searching. The search terms used were in the following combinations: “indigenous education” and “learning;” “Native American” and “education” and “research;” and “indian” and “learning.” These searches led me to the major organizations concerned with indigenous education.

Second of all, ERIC resources were consulted. A search was done in the ERIC free database to determine the sources of information for Native American Education. Third of all, many organizations concerned with Native Americans contained links. These link collections were explored thoroughly. Finally, in searching for research articles, I found that many articles were not availabe freely on the Web. I noted the authors of the research and searched for other material on the Web by the same authors.

Selection Criteria

Information resources were sought which were sponsored or offered by governmental and educational organizations. When research articles were found, I noted the biographical information regarding the authors and the types of references cited in the articles. Attention was paid to the URL’s to determine the organization responsible for the information found. Web resources were selected based on the subject: whether it pertained closely to education research rather than teaching tools and whether the information was useful for Native educators. Finally, Web resources were selected based on their currency. This was a hard task, due to the lack of new information. Many research articles found were written in the early-90s.


Prepared for:
Information Resources in the Social Sciences
LIS 382L3
Dr. Loriene Roy
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
April 2002
Prepared by:
Kristen Lynn Wolf
Master's Candidate
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
contact: klwolf@gslis.utexas.edu
URL: http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~vlibrary/edres/pathfinders/wolf

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kw 04-26-02