Archived InformationTools for Schools - April 1998
The National Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence projects upon which this model is based were designed to establish a more culturally responsive educational system in Zuni Schools that is predicted to be associated with higher student achievement.
The model is based upon the seven standards of effective instruction described above and includes the primary components described below.
|Teachers-Individual and Group Consultation
This program is influencing teacher professional development through individual and group
consultation with a site coordinator and a teacher professional development portfolio and evaluation
process. There are three basic components of the consultation model, all based on a triadic model of
assistance whereby program developers assist the staff advisor to assist teachers, and the staff
advisor, in turn, assists teachers to assist students. First, the project staff advisor and university
personnel collaboratively develop a systematic approach to provide individualized assistance to
teachers. Second, the project staff advisor meets regularly with both individual and groups of
teachers to discuss the standards and their enactment. And, finally, teachers attend 3 workshops
annually and a single, 4-day Summer Institute at which teachers and community members work
jointly to develop instructional units consistent with the Five Standards for Effective Pedagogy and
contextualized in local practices and values.
|Annual Teacher Performance Evaluation - Professional Portfolio
Evidence of competence in enacting the seven standards of effective instruction is included in the
annual faculty evaluation. In addition, teachers build a professional development portfolio that
includes the annual evaluation, results of classroom observations by research staff using the Activity
Settings Observation System (ASOS), a videotaped lesson, and a development plan.
|Parent-Teacher Focus Groups
Parent-teacher focus groups conducted by the project staff advisor address issues of effective pedagogy and evaluate the seven standards in the context of the local community. The groups use a specific stimulus for each discussion, beginning with the Zuni enactment tapes, but rapidly expand to use participating teachers' own videotapes and portfolio items. The focus groups themselves will enact the generic standards; thus, the intervention will teach the generic standards by using them.
Operating schools and classrooms according to this model entails no extra cost. The costs of training and staff development vary with the methods and intensity of the model.
The primary means for reform is through teacher professional development and a professional development portfolio and evaluation process. Various activities for professional development, described below, have been employed and are available from the National Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence.
Traditional and contemporary Native American socialization emphasizes learning by observation. This observational learning is closely tied to the well-documented visual-learning patterns of Native children, and a holistic cognitive style. Observational learning has been related to the learning system of private, imagined practice, which allows for learning to occur without public failure (that is, competence before performance).
Numerous reports indicate that Native students are more inclined to participate in activities that they themselves generate, organize, or direct. Native students tend to be private learners and silent students, and resistant to the imposition of the practices and values of what they view as an alien institution. This is not surprising, for Native American cultures are distinctive in the degree of respect accorded to youthful autonomy and decision-making.
This project is based on an alternative organizational structure founded in a theory of schooling as assisted performance. In this organization, rather than functioning to direct and assess, the first responsibility of each person is to assist the performance of those in the next position to assist those in the third position. This triad is embedded in a longer chain of responsibility in which multiple triads exist. For example, program developers assist teacher educators to assist teachers, teacher educators assist teachers to assist students, and teachers assist students to assist peers.