Experiential Learning in Native American Communities

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Racial Disparities in Child Welfare. Race disparity is a serious problem in Minnesota's child protection system."6x more likely to be reported to CP than Caucasian families1.5% of general population8% of victims of child maltreatment13% of children in out-of-home placementLowest reunification rate (61%) of any racial group.

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Experiential Learning in Native American Communities

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1. Experiential Learning in Native American Communities Traci LaLiberte, PhD Kristine N. Piescher, PhD Katie Johnston-Goodstar, PhD

2. Racial Disparities in Child Welfare “Race disparity is a serious problem in Minnesota’s child protection system.” 6x more likely to be reported to CP than Caucasian families 1.5% of general population 8% of victims of child maltreatment 13% of children in out-of-home placement Lowest reunification rate (61%) of any racial group

4. Background Historical inhabitation of MN by Native American tribes-including Anishinaabe, Dakota and other Native Americans Like in other states, many treaties were negotiated and/or forced upon tribes and subsequently violated and/or went unrecognized by the federal government

5. Background Fort Snelling-occupation 1819, natives forced off land, war broke out, mass execution, concentration camps Missionization/christianization Boarding Schools Dawes Act Relocation policies

6. SSW Education Previous Curriculum and Support Program Foundation/History Advanced practice in Child Welfare Social Policy & Delivery Systems for Child Welfare and Family Systems Child Welfare & the Law Title IV-E seminar Current Curriculum and Support Program Previous Curriculum and Support Program PLUS: ELNA Adoption Certificate Program Summer Institute

7. The Issue Students learned mechanics and policy of ICWA, but didn’t have the contextual reference upon which they could hinge their learning As a result, implementation issues exist(ed) Disparities in CW Challenges in engagement (i.e.. reports from parents in Ramsey County)

8. Sometimes the best ideas are borrowed Friends to the North-UMD Collaborative meetings twice per year Shared their activity of the “walkabout” – walking through commonly visited areas that have significance for Native communities. The idea for ELNA evolves …

9. The Goals of ELNA Critically educate the student body about the historical, political and contemporary contexts of Native communities and the welfare of children and families within these contexts Improve social work service provision within the Native community (particularly for non-Native practitioners), through application of knowledge

10. The Method Critical Pedagogy Critical, Social constructionist world view Teacher and student as active co-learners Cyclical process of learning (Praxis), theory action, reflection Experiential Pedagogy Infuses direct experience with learning environment and curricular content Role of Instructor Select experiences Pose problems Set boundaries Support learners Facilitate and reflect upon learning

11. The Process Collaboration & Planning Native American Faculty, Child Welfare Educators and researchers, Native American Community elders and leaders, Native American historian Coordination with Students Evaluation of ELNA Administrative tasks/Budgeting

12. The Experiential Learning Opportunity A historical analysis of contact and colonization in Minnesota Review of governmental policies Introduction to contemporary racism & micro-aggressions and their impact on Native child welfare Exploration of experiences of Native families involved in Social Work and Child Welfare Systems

13. The Agenda Gather Fort Snelling Walking Tour Driving Tour/Micro Aggressions Lecture Lunch Hx, Overview of Indian Policies, Social Work Practices and Historical Trauma Visit to Native American Shelter-Discussion of Practice Issues

14. Logistics and Resources Articles Tobacco bundles for Elders Transportation Headsets Tootsie Pops Culturally specific food Utilization of technology

15. The Evaluation Sought to: Assess satisfaction & obtain feedback about the experience Gain a deeper understanding of the impact the experiential learning opportunity had on students Evaluate changes in awareness and knowledge of the historical, political, and contemporary contexts of Native communities

16. Satisfaction-Growth 23 out of 36 students responded to the satisfaction survey 100% of students reported personal growth 64% ‘very much’ 36% ‘somewhat’ Majority of Students reported professional growth 64% ‘very much’ 18% ‘somewhat’

17. Satisfaction-logistics 71% prefer a 2-day event Nearly even division in lunch preferences Lunch only, lunch with speakers, lunch with facilitated discussion 100% satisfaction with headsets for walking tour Majority of respondents (48%) desired informal, non-facilitated discussion during activity transition. However, a large number of students (30%) wanted facilitated discussion or free time (22%).

18. Comments/Suggestions from students DESIRES Small group discussions Apply content directly to practice Encourage open ended reflection Keep the walking tour Visit a reservation CHANGES Mixed results in terms of shortening the day Do not lecture during lunch Limit, rework or eliminate multiple stops in the microaggression lecture & bus tour

19. Knowledge Acquisition 36 students participated in ELNA 27 students took pre-test 18 students took post-test 14 students responded-matched across 2 time periods, 30 days apart (pre-test & post event) Third knowledge test given 6 months following ELNA (7 respondents). Results are pending analysis.

20. Knowledge Acquisition 26% (t=5.91, p<.01) increase in awareness and knowledge of historical, political, and contemporary contexts of Native communities Pre-test mean 24.81 (SD 4.44) Post-test mean 31.25 (SD 3.41) Other analysis ongoing include: Total # correct, incorrect, patterns of knowledge acquisition (by content and student characteristics)

21. Qualitative Interviews 8-10 MSW students Semi-structured interviews Understanding impact of ELNA on current practice/field placements Re-evaluation of past practice based upon ELNA learning Analysis to take place summer 2011

22. Implications & Future Directions Implications Future planning lessons learned, strategies, current challenges, funding, etc.

23. Budget $2050 Supplies $600 Services $1000 (speaker fees for historian, community elders, lunch costs) Professional Services $600 (transportation with professional driver) Short Term Rental $600 (headsets) Travel $250 (for one speaker)

24. Contact Us: Traci LaLiberte, PhD Executive Director [email protected] Kristine N. Piescher, PhD Director of Research & Evaluation [email protected]

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