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Native Pathways to Education
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Lessons Taught, Lessons Learned Vol. II


Teachers Beware! The following collection of essays could stimulate you to engage in educational activities of a provocative and inciteful (even insightful) manner. If you take seriously the rich assortment of rural schooling ideals and curricular ideas assembled in this book, you run the risk of opening up new and uncontrollable learning opportunities for your students. Such a risk may be worth taking, however, since all of the essays contained herein were prepared by teachers like yourselves, who have already broken the trail and are willing to share their experiences and insights with you. The "wisdom of practice" documented in this volume demonstrates that the commitment to improve the quality of school- ing in rural Alaska is alive and well, particularly at the level of the local community and school, and that many classroom teachers are ignoring the status quo and venturing into innovative and promising new realms of curriculum development and teaching practice. 

In the spring of 1988 the Alaska Staff Development Network published the first volume of Lessons Taught, Lessons Learned, a collection of essays on schooling in rural Alaska by participants in the first Rural Alaska Instructional Improvement Academy in Fairbanks the summer before. The quality and popularity of the teachers' essays was such that we decided to continue the writing assignment in conjunction with the next three Academies, and it is from those submissions that this second volume is drawn. As was the case with the first collection, the participants were asked to write an essay reflecting their views on rural schooling or rural school curriculum, in response to their experiences, the Academy workshop(s) they attended, and four assigned articles on curriculum design (which were included in the first volume of essays). References in this collection to essays or articles from the first volume are indicated by the abbreviation, LT/LL. Copies of the first volume can be obtained from the Alaska Staff Development Network (DOE), or the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Center for Cross-Cultural Studies.

The essays in Volume II are organized into two sections: Part I includes teachers' reflections on the qualities and practices that make up their version of the ideal school in rural Alaska; Part II includes essays that describe curriculum ideas and teaching methods that teachers have found particularly appropriate for rural Alaskan schools. The teacher/authors are identified with the school district in which they were employed at the time of the Academy they attended, since that is the setting from which their ideas and experiences are drawn, though some have since moved to other districts and positions.

Appreciation is hereby extended to the many teachers who prepared essays for this volume, including those whose essays were not included due to limitations of space. Hopefully the essays assembled here have captured the range and spirit of the many excellent submissions. Additionally, I wish to thank the Academy workshop presenters who stimulated many of the ideas outlined in the essays; the staff of the UAF Conferences and Institutes for managing the logistics of the Academy and entering the essays into the computer for publication; and Kelly Tonsmeire, Helen Barrett and the staff of the Alaska Staff Development Network for putting it all together and making it happen. Keep up the good work!

Ray Barnhardt
University of Alaska Fairbanks


Ray Barnhardt

Part I * Rural School Ideals

"My Goodness, People Come and Go So Quickly Around Here"
Lance C. Blackwood

Parental Involvement in a Cross-Cultural Environment
Monte Boston

Teachers and Administrators for Rural Alaska
Claudia Caffee

The Mentor Teacher Program
Judy Charles

Building Networks
Helen Eckelman

Ideal Curriculum and Teaching Approaches for a School in Rural Alaska
Teresa McConnell

Some Observations Concerning Excellent Rural Alaskan Schools
Bob Moore

The Ideal Rural Alaska Village School
Samuel Moses

From Then To Now: The Value of Experiential Learning
Clara Carol Potterville

The Ideal School
Jane Seaton

Toward an Integrated, Nonlinear, Community-Oriented Curriculum Unit
Mary Short

A Letter from Idealogak, Alaska
Timothy Stathis

Preparing Rural Students for the Future
Michael Stockburger

The Ideal Rural School
Dawn Weyiouanna

Alternative Approaches to the High School Curriculum
Mark J. Zintek

Part II * Rural Curriculum Ideas

"Masking" the Curriculum
Irene Bowie

On Punks and Culture
Louise J. Britton

Literature to Meet the Needs of Rural Students
Debra Buchanan

Reaching the Gifted Student Via the Regular Classroom
Patricia S. Caldwell

Early Childhood Special Education in Rural Alaska
Colleen Chinn

Technically Speaking
Wayne Day

Process Learning Through the School Newspaper 
Marilyn Harmon

Glacier Bay History: A Unit in Cultural Education
David Jaynes

Principals of Technology
Brian Marsh

Here's Looking at You and Whole Language
Susan Nugent

Inside, Outside and all-Around: Learning to Read and Write
Mary L. Olsen

Science Across the Curriculum
Alice Porter

Here's Looking at You 2000 Workshop
Cheryl Severns

School-Based Enterprises
Gerald Sheehan

King Island Christmas: A Language Arts Unit
Christine Pearsall Villano

Using Student-Produced Dialogues
Michael A. Wilson

We-Search and Curriculum Integration in the Community
Sally Young

Artist's Credits



Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
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Last modified August 14, 2006