Wisconsin Act 31 was established for the purpose of addressing American Indian history, culture, and sovereignty within K-12 schools as a response to treaty rights issues in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Yet, in the 21st century there remain issues with compliance throughout not only K-12 schools but also institutions of higher education. The research addresses how public institutions of higher education factor into compliance with regard to teacher preparation programs. Through a mixed methods approach, instructors from nine University of Wisconsin System institutions were surveyed regarding their professional and personal background in relation to American Indian Studies as well as their understanding of Wisconsin Act 31. In addition, a document analysis was performed on the syllabi from teacher-licensing certified courses. The results provided an overall understanding of the issues within teacher preparation programs that affect future educators. A distinction became apparent between courses that are education-related and those that are discipline specific. Majority of the courses are education-related and provide an emphasis on the general human diversity elements of Wisconsin Act 31. Alternatively, discipline specific courses address the foundational topics of Wisconsin Act 31 including culture, history, sovereignty, and contemporary issues. The differences between the types of courses that fulfill the Wisconsin Act 31 teacher-licensing requirement signify a need for further investigation into bringing together University of Wisconsin institutions, the Department of Public Instruction, and American Indians to fully address Wisconsin Act 31 requirements.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. September 2013. Major: Teaching and Learning. Advisor: Dr. Mary Ann Marchel. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 104 pages, appendices A-B.
Moody, Heather Ann.
Before we teach it, We Have to learn it": Wisconsin Act 31 compliance within public teacher preparation programs.
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