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American Indian Education: A History

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In this comprehensive history of American Indian education in the United States from colonial times to the present, historians and educators Jon Reyhner and Jeanne Eder explore the broad spectrum of Native experiences in missionary, government, and tribal boarding and day schools. This up-to-date survey is the first one-volume source for those interested in educational ref In this comprehensive history of American Indian education in the United States from colonial times to the present, historians and educators Jon Reyhner and Jeanne Eder explore the broad spectrum of Native experiences in missionary, government, and tribal boarding and day schools. This up-to-date survey is the first one-volume source for those interested in educational reform policies and missionary and government efforts to Christianize and “civilize” American Indian children. Drawing on firsthand accounts from teachers and students, American Indian Education considers and analyzes shifting educational policies and philosophies, paying special attention to the passage of the Native American Languages Act and current efforts to revitalize Native American cultures.  


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In this comprehensive history of American Indian education in the United States from colonial times to the present, historians and educators Jon Reyhner and Jeanne Eder explore the broad spectrum of Native experiences in missionary, government, and tribal boarding and day schools. This up-to-date survey is the first one-volume source for those interested in educational ref In this comprehensive history of American Indian education in the United States from colonial times to the present, historians and educators Jon Reyhner and Jeanne Eder explore the broad spectrum of Native experiences in missionary, government, and tribal boarding and day schools. This up-to-date survey is the first one-volume source for those interested in educational reform policies and missionary and government efforts to Christianize and “civilize” American Indian children. Drawing on firsthand accounts from teachers and students, American Indian Education considers and analyzes shifting educational policies and philosophies, paying special attention to the passage of the Native American Languages Act and current efforts to revitalize Native American cultures.  

30 review for American Indian Education: A History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sammy Torres

    I was thrilled to find this book as certainly few of its kind exist. I found this text to be an extremely helpful contextual piece in its attempt to build a comprehensive volume detailing the atrocious policy making and attitudes of Euroamerican sensibilities toward American Indians. It's an ambitious project, and while it isn't perfect, represents an excellent source for many to utilize as a spring board for further exploration. It can be a bit clunky at times, and I would have preferred to hea I was thrilled to find this book as certainly few of its kind exist. I found this text to be an extremely helpful contextual piece in its attempt to build a comprehensive volume detailing the atrocious policy making and attitudes of Euroamerican sensibilities toward American Indians. It's an ambitious project, and while it isn't perfect, represents an excellent source for many to utilize as a spring board for further exploration. It can be a bit clunky at times, and I would have preferred to hear more Indigenous voices in the volume, yet the objective of the text is admirably faced as a solid contribution toward a discipline that deserves more attention, dialogue, scholarship, and representation in mainstream education and culture.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Jackson

    It is ridiculously frustrating that in all my years of interest in Native American history in the context of U.S. government policy, I have only ever been able to find one book that satisfies the full spectrum of experiences and tragedies that American Indians faced, and continue to face, at the hands of the white higher-ups who lorded over them in every way for centuries. American Indian Education is most certainly not that book. (It's actually the classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee B It is ridiculously frustrating that in all my years of interest in Native American history in the context of U.S. government policy, I have only ever been able to find one book that satisfies the full spectrum of experiences and tragedies that American Indians faced, and continue to face, at the hands of the white higher-ups who lorded over them in every way for centuries. American Indian Education is most certainly not that book. (It's actually the classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. That one is a must-read.) As usual, I began this book with optimism, hoping it could shed some light onto the specifics of governmental policy that forced Native Americans into awful white-run boarding schools, where they were stripped of their culture and required to assimilate, leaving them stuck in limbo between their past and their future. It's a fascinating subject, and a terrible one that more Americans should be aware of. Too few modern non-Native Americans know this aspect of our nation's history, and they should. There were many things in American Indian Education that I didn't know, either; I'm certainly no expert on Indian educational policy. But I have a basic background, at least, and I was hoping the book would add to that knowledge. The trouble was, the authors tried to include so much into a single volume that all I read was pure noise and not information. It was as if the authors wanted to pack in as much information about all the different tribes as possible with no structure, organization, rhyme or reason — which really showed, with the poor quality of writing and content in the book. The book is arranged chronologically, dating back to colonial times when white settlers were first starting to make contact with the First Peoples of this continent, all the way until the present day (2003, anyway, just before the book was published). It purports to include all of that history in a single volume, but the problem is it just includes too much. And none of it makes sense in context: it jumps from tribe to tribe, region to region, with little cohesion; everything is so scattered that I found myself flipping back pages to remember what the author had said about one tiny detail ten pages back. There seemed to be no point to the book at all. Sure, it's a history, and it's trying to encompass a vast time period of American history, but it would have worked better if there had been some sort of thesis or lesson, or at least something to learn from the entire book. Instead, we were given sentences like, "Government boarding schools had their success and failures." Way to commit to a side there, authors; there could be no more neutral statement than that, and it sums up the entire book. I know, I know, histories are supposed to be neutral and unbiased, but that is not a very groundbreaking sentence to write in any book. (Also, the authors used "less" when it should have been "fewer" multiple times in the book, among other unforgivably heinous grammar errors that were incredibly irritating. Not to mention an abundance of passive voice.) Part of the problem, I imagine, could be the specific research interests of the authors, mainly author Jon Reyhner, who evidently lived in Arizona and taught on the Navajo reservation for a while. That fact explains why so much of the book talks only about Navajo education and no other tribes. It would have made more sense to focus the book only on the Navajos and no other Native American people, because the authors clearly didn't know much about any other tribes. And if you don't know anything about other tribes, don't include anything about them, because you'll just appear dumb. Which is exactly what happened here. And this isn't to say that the information about the Navajos isn't interesting, but it's rather limited in the scope of all of U.S. history in American Indian education. If nothing else, this book showed me that there is a lot more I need to learn about Native American education policy, and Native American history is general, outside of just the Plains Indians' history. I wrote down many notes of snippets the authors mentioned briefly but never went back into, so I have things to look up on my own — it just would have been nice for the authors to have a purpose to include everything in the book instead of just mentioning them on a superficial level.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heather Edick

    This is a fantastic book that details the history of American Indian education. Thank you for such a wonderful book, Rehyner and Eder. You have written a book that anyone, layman to expert, will enjoy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    Somewhat episodic or disjointed, with less of a big picture, overall perspective than I'd hoped for. Still, lots of useful information, clearly presented. Includes a lot about actual classroom pedagogy, which isn't what I was looking for but would probably be really helpful for some readers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allison6876

    Read for AMIN 3201W paper

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vivian

    A good overview of American Indian education.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christine

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gail

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christina

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leanne Wiggins

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zachary

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brigette

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tewtz Vonn

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  17. 5 out of 5

    Géraldine Grout

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Crouse

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charles Stanford

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Elizabeth

  23. 5 out of 5

    Clay

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Lillian Smith

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  26. 5 out of 5

    Giolinny

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ltmila83

  28. 4 out of 5

    SHERRI

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Rindfleisch

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emma Lacey

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