Project Mashchamtham Native Early Childhood Education Teachers for Arizona's Indian Children

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The Arizona State Department of Education now requires Early Childhood Education (ECE) certification (birth age 8) for all K-3 teachers and others serving in early education programs operated by public school districts. Of the 5,767 children enrolled in the Head Start programs in Arizona, 26.6% are Native. Of the 11,581 teachers currently certified in ECE statewide, there is only 232 American Indians certified two percent of the total! In order to achieve state population parity---six percent in the numbers of certificate holders--463 more Native ECE teachers need to be prepared and certified. Beyond parity, when there is also consideration of the 27% enrollment of Indian children represented in ECE programs throughout the state, the actual need for Native teachers is even greater. Our proposed project will train and induct two cohorts (12 participants each) of Native teachers in ASUs Early Childhood Education teacher certification program, completing a specialized curriculum focusing on the unique needs of Native children, with a particular emphasis on (1) language development and (2) transition of children from Head Start and tribal pre-schools to K-3. This project will fill an immediate and pressing need, producing 20 highly qualified Native ECE teachers. Similar to the proportion of certified Early Education teachers, the total teaching force of Arizona is only two percent American Indian. According to current BIA and Arizona Dept. of Education public school enrollment figures, the total Indian K-12 student population of the state is about 80,000, accounting for six percent of the total school enrollment. Of the 52,543 teachers certified and currently teaching in Arizona, 1,145 are American Indians a ratio of one certified Indian teacher for every 70 Indian public or BIA school students. While a considerable gap in ratio of Native teachers to Native students will continue to exist in Arizona for some time, the addition of 20 teachers in our proposed cohorts will decrease the existing gap by two percent, thus changing the ratio of Native teachers to Native students in Arizona to 1:68.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/096/30/14

Funding

  • US Department of Education (DOEd): $1,681,979.00

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