|Abstract or Summary
- This manuscript-style dissertation explores Diné (Navajo) education and teaching in the context of a research project that negotiated the demands of both Navajo Nation IRB and Oregon State University IRB. In the first manuscript, the researcher examines his journey of using cultural resilience strategies to succeed in the education system on the Diné reservation and in urban cities. He also details the development of his cultural and professional identities. Four cultural resilient strategies are reflected in his story: 1) familial support, 2) cultural teachings, 3) spirituality, and 4) sacred Diné terms. In the second manuscript, 15 Diné elementary teachers’ perspectives on Diné-centered education are explored through the use of interviews and questionnaires. The findings indicate: 1) ambivalent support among stakeholders on the teachings of Diné language, culture, and history, 2) improving students’ test scores on statewide assessments as the dominant curricular perspective, 3) curricular challenges in implementing Diné-based education, and 4) a need to train teachers on culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies.In the third manuscript, the author reflects on the challenges of negotiating the demands of two IRBs, representing two very different cultures. Three key observations are generated. First, the IRB review and approval processes between the university and tribal IRBs were recursive which excessively delayed the author’s research project. Second, the university IRB requested original and modified documents of Navajo Nation IRB protocol, consent form, and approval letter, which also served to delay the research; similarly, the Navajo IRB required its own body of permits, letters of support, and public testimony as part of the process. Third, the Navajo tribe is a sovereign government that exercises its own IRB regulations (e.g. Principal Investigator designation and ownership of research materials) which at times, conflicted with university (i.e., federal) IRB guidelines. Overall, the three manuscripts provide description and new questions to an area of inquiry that has been on the margins of educational research: the experience of Navajo teachers in the age of the Common Core and other manifestations of education standardization.