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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Teaching Minority Content: A Community Based Model

Author: Kelly, Kenneth W.
Author Background:
Date 1/1/94
Type Conference proceedings
Journal Title: In: Proceedings of the National Conference on Successful College Teaching (18th, Orlando, Florida, February 26-28, 1994); see JC 960 033.
Subject Matter Native Americans
Abstract In an effort to develop a more effective means of teaching minority content, a course focusing on Native American issues was implemented at Northern Michigan University. The students involved in the project had very limitedexperience with minority group members, and those exposed to Native Americans often had negative stereotyped notions. The course consisted of six 2-hour integrative seminar sessions held with two tribal instructors at an Ojibwareservation 70 miles from campus. The first half of the academic year focused on group work methods, while the second half focused on community practice, with students encouraged to develop relationships with tribal members at thereservation. The first field visit provided an orientation to Native American culture held at the Tribal Courtroom, while the second session provided a review of the initial meeting and additional time to meet with tribal members. Thethird session introduced the students to the human service units that existed within the tribal organization, focusing on the differences related to practicing in the tribal culture as opposed to students own practice of social work. Thesecond semester was designed to focus on organizational and community change as opposed to direct practice. Student evaluations pointed to the difficulties of transportation arrangements and additional time commitment asserious issues which should be addressed before duplicating the program.