Beyond "Business as Usual": Reaching for an Educational Practice that Interrupts Colonization and Promotes Healthy Indigenous Identity and Communities
Leilani Sabzalian

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Oregon

Primary Discipline

Teacher Education/Teaching and Learning
This dissertation will present a field study of an urban Title VII program in Oregon, exploring both the constructive aspects of this program, as well as the complex, unintended consequences it (re)produces. Of particular concern in this study will be the insider/outsider dynamics that are generated by Title VII enrollment criteria. The study will identify what educators need to understand in order to work with Indigenous students and families to minimize the cultural and personal costs of those dynamics. Data collection will include participant observation at Title VII sponsored events including tutoring sessions, craft and drumming nights, youth group meetings, and family gatherings, as well as in-depth and focus group interviews with students, families, and Title VII service providers. The goal is to develop case studies that highlight the intelligent and courageous ways Native students, families, and culturally responsive service providers navigate cultural dynamics created by Title VII program implementation. The study will draw upon contemporary Indigenous studies and educational ethnographic literature in the analysis of the macrosocial influences on student experience of these programs. Additionally the study will draw upon the contemporary literature on culturally responsive teaching and teacher practical knowledge in the documentation and analysis of the insights that enable educators, students, and families navigate these influences. The study will have implications for the preparation of teachers and administrators who serve Indigenous students, as well as national and state policies such as Title VII programs intended to serve Native students and families.
About Leilani Sabzalian

Pin It on Pinterest