Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Teacher Education


Curriculum & Instruction

First Committee Member

Jane McCarthy, Chair

Second Committee Member

Martha Young

Third Committee Member

Jian Wang

Graduate Faculty Representative

LeAnn Putney

Number of Pages



This dissertation traces the historical roots of indigenous education from the violation of treaty rights of the late 1800's to the staggering rates of non-persistency facing Native American students today. While many factors are outside of the classroom teacher's scope of influence, teacher candidates should be trained in culturally responsive methods to address factors that are within their control and which can be addressed in the classroom.

The study was conducted using a mixed-methods design employing Creswell's (2008a) sequential transformative strategy. STS is a multi-phase study with an implicit theoretical lens. In this study the researcher is situated at an intersection between reform of current educational practice using the work of Demmert, Ladson-Billings and Haberman and equity for all students using the work of Villegas, Sheets, and Hermes. The researcher employed a phase I survey instrument to gather data from 122 certified teachers at an elementary, middle, and high school site to examine characteristics of exemplary teachers. Using data from the first phase the researcher developed an interview protocol and selected participants for an in-depth qualitative interview.

The researcher, using this study, and the emergent the conceptual model, as a blueprint, found that four significant implications for teacher education. The four implications are: relationship building; reframing race and poverty; exposing teacher candidates' views of the "other;" and, examination of self through reflection. Classroom and subsequent academic change for teachers will necessitate their coming to terms with new strategies. The starting point for reform lies squarely in the preparation of teacher candidates at the preservice level if reform is to be achieved. The implications for teacher education presented here contributed to the development of teacher candidates that could gain the characteristics necessary to use the emergent conceptual model. This conceptual model recognizes the important of the representative characteristics of caring educators and is further concerned with the process of how those characteristics are utilized to impact academic success. A process orientated model is presented that uses the characteristics of effective teaching, the humanistic, instructional, and the academic, in concert to ultimately gain the product of persistency and academic success for Native American students.


Indians of North America – Education; Indians of North America – Students; Native American students; Teacher education; Teacher effectiveness; Teachers—Training of


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Disability and Equity in Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit