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What We Know, What They Need: Critical Reflections on Professional Education and Professional Development J P Leary, Education Consultant American Indian Studies Program Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction PO Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841 [email protected] or 608/267-2283

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What We Know, What They Need:Critical Reflections on Professional Education and Professional Development

J P Leary, Education Consultant

American Indian Studies Program

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

PO Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841

[email protected] or 608/267-2283

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Ground Rules

  • We will work in an atmosphere of mutual respect and honest inquiry.

  • We will recognize that everyone is a “work in progress.”

  • We will honor each other’ skills. Everyone has something valuable to contribute. Collectively, we have all the tools, skills, knowledge, and ability we need.

  • We will stay on task and be respectful of others’ time.

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Ground Rules

  • All group members will participate, although not necessarily in the same way.

  • We all have the right to pass.

  • We can agree to disagree as needed. There may be more than one “right answer.”

  • We will all take responsibility for our own comfort. We will take care of our needs to stand, stretch, use the restroom, get a snack, etc. without disturbing the group.

  • Other rules?

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Understanding Perspectives

What does this exercise suggest about perspective?

Please keep this experience in mind as we proceed.

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Why a Native Focus?

  • Often asked to extrapolate from general presentations about “Students” or about “Students of Color”

  • Cosmetic incorporation, i.e., “and American Indian students”

  • Shifts perspective to prompt insight

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  • 15 districts had disproportionate identification of American Indian students in one or more areas for special education.

    • All categories - 5

    • CD - 2

    • EBD - 9

    • LD - 3

    • OHI - 1

      Based on data from 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008.

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Reflection and Professional Growth

Teachers are able to evaluate themselves.

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his or her choices and actions on pupils, parents, professionals in the learning community and others and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.

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Professional Development and Reflection Worksheet

What We Know

  • How many of them are statements of opinion?

  • How many of the things you have learned are assertions of fact?

  • How many of them are accurate?

  • How many of them are professionally relevant or useful?

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Professional Development and Reflection Worksheet

How We Know

  • How many of the sources listed are accurate or authentic?

  • Whose perspective do they reflect?

  • How many of them are professionally relevant or useful?

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The Seventh Generation: Native Students Speak About Finding the Good Path

  • Amy Bergstrom (Red Lake Ojibwe); Linda Miller Cleary; and Tom Peacock (Fond du Lac Ojibwe)

  • Interviewed 120 Native middle and high school students across U.S. and Canada.

  • Book is geared toward middle school-high school students.

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Characteristics of Good Teaching

Cultural Knowledge

  • Attention to cultural diversity among Native peoples

  • Basic familiarity with key cultural concepts


  • What is on your classroom walls?

  • What can you draw upon to make connections between students and material covered?

    Bergstrom, Cleary, and Peacock, 2003

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Characteristics of Good Teaching

  • Using Encouragement

  • Using Explanation

  • Using Examples and Analogies

  • Having High Expectations

  • Being Fair and Insisting Upon Respect

  • Being Flexible

  • Being Helpful

  • Being Careful Not to Single Anyone Out

  • Being Interested in Students

  • Listening and Understanding

  • Using Multiple Approaches

  • Using Collaborative Approaches

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Characteristics of Good Teachers

  • Being Caring

  • Being Fun

  • Being Mellow

  • Being Open-Minded

  • Having Patience

  • Respecting Students

  • Staying

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“But That’s Just Good Teaching!”

Gloria Ladson-Billings, “But That’s Just Good Teaching! The Case for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” Theory into Practice, Vol. 34, No. 3, Culturally Relevant Teaching. (Summer, 1995), pp. 159-165.

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Enduring Images: American Indians in the Popular Imagination

  • Workshop data 2004 - Present

    • List all that you know about, what you have heard about, and what you have experienced about Native Americans. (Include everything -- the positive, negative and neutral)

    • What were the sources of this information? (Identify each source as specifically as you can -- e.g. instead of “books,” please specify titles.)

  • Of 757 sources identified, only 149 were from formal education in K-12, higher education, or ongoing professional development.

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Opportunity to Learn

  • Opportunity to learn refers to equitable conditions or circumstances within the school or classroom that promote learning for all students. It includes the provision of curricula, learning materials, facilities, teachers, and instructional experiences that enable students to achieve high standards. This term also relates to the absence of barriers that prevent learning.


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Opportunity to Learn

It’s not just for students anymore!

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Wisconsin State Human Relations Association

  • The purpose of the Wisconsin State Human Relations Association is to:

    • Support and promote the development of educational programs in the state of Wisconsin which recognize and value human diversity.

    • To promote the concept of cultural pluralism in our schools and in our society

    • To facilitate change in educational institutions in order to foster respect for the rights of human beings, human dignity and the promotion of human equity.

  • Annual conference in Wisconsin Dells

  • “Sustaining Hope in the Search for Social Justice,” November 20-21, 2008 at Chula Vista

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Wisconsin Indian Education Association

  • Mission: “To promote and support education and educationally related opportunities for American Indian people in Wisconsin”

  • 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization

  • Board meetings and regional membership meetings occur monthly

  • Holds annual conference in the spring

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  • The Seventh Generation by Bergstrom, Cleary, and Peacock

  • Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future by Brendtro, Brokenleg, and Van Bockern

  • Collected Wisdom by Cleary and Peacock

  • Power and Place: Indian Education in America by Deloria and Wildcat

  • Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit

  • Cultural Competence: A Primer for Educators by Diller and Moule

  • Why Are So Many Minority Students in Special Education? by Harry and Klingner

  • Widening the Circle: Culturally Relevant Pedagogy for American Indian Children by Klug and Whitfield

  • Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders by Lindsey, Robins, and Terrell

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Planning for the PDP

  • What experiences, knowledge, skills, and dispositions do I already possess that relate to providing effective educational services for American Indian students?

  • What experiences, knowledge, skills, and dispositions can I develop further?

  • What professional resources will help me to do so?

  • What is my strategy for ongoing professional development?