Zuni Education One of the Term Paper

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Klotz 266) the standards of the system have had to rely on standardized accountability curriculum to attempt to make this cooperative concept work. The difficulties are also answered with community emphasis on technology and social growth as well a community involvement in schools and district affairs.

In one of the most poignant addresses to congress, in this case Montana, one of the congressmen demonstrate the fight, in every state for the development of quality schools for Native Americans.

If there is to be a solution to the Indian problem in this country, it will only come about when our educational system provides the knowledge... needed to understand and respect the cultural differences between us and the state helps to preserve and protect their cultural integrity. This is a matter of pride. All of us are proud of our heritage... because we know about our history, our culture and our integrity....Are we now to continue to deny this to these, the first citizens of the State of Montana? Ladies and gentlemen, the Montana Indians are still waiting outside the door. Are you going to answer them? (7)

Juneau, and Broaddus 193)

The demands of the system indicate that there are still significant shortcomings in the development of quality multi-cultural schools on site for Native American children all over the nation. In many ways the Zuni system is one that should be used as an example of the creation of such as system, as tribal voice is allotted those in the district, though there are outside restrictions that challenge such a voice, for the most part the Zuni system is remarkable and well developed.

The Zuni Public Schools were a part of the Gallup-McKinley County Public School system until 1980 when the pueblo formed its own school system in an effort to allow the residents to have community control over the education of children in the pueblo. In becoming a separate school district, Zuni Public Schools became the only pueblo tribe controlled school district in the state of New Mexico. There is at least one other public school system in the state that is controlled by the tribe and Native American students are a presence in many public school systems throughout the state. (ZPSD "Bilingual program" website)

The Zuni Peublo offers a foundational space for the development of a school system that answers the needs of the student body, which is 99% Zuni Indian in composition, as the culture has been highly isolated by remote location, and has therefore been capable of retaining a strong tradition of language and culture.

Because of their remote location, the Zuni people have maintained a strong traditional religious, linguistic and cultural heritage. The Zuni language, unique among the seven Native American languages spoken in New Mexico, is predominant in the homes and Tribal government, religious, social and cultural interactions. Extended families are large...Almost ninety-eight percent (98%) of the students enrolled in the public schools speak Zuni when they enter school and are encouraged to speak Zuni in classrooms...annual kindergarten enrollment continues to grow. The vast majority of Zuni families have lived in the village for generations. A small number of people leave Zuni as young adults to further their education, serve in the Armed Forces or work in areas which have more economic opportunities. But most appear to be drawn back to Zuni, their ancestral home. Students who enter either public or parochial schools in kindergarten usually complete their education in Zuni. (ZPSD "Bilingual program" website)

This continuity, offers the student a unique opportunity for the exploration of cultural and well as education needs and therefore constitutes a potential model system. Though other regional Nations have more difficulty, especially those who were subject to tribal consolidations that were incongruent to culture or who are less isolated in location and have therefore had a great deal more outside influence on culture to contend with in a multicultural setting.

Zuni people value education and have made schools a part of the Pueblo since 1877. The mission and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools never lacked for students but they prohibited the use of the Zuni language in "their" schools. Eventually, a public school was provided by the State of New Mexico under the auspices of the Gallup-McKinley County School District. Because of the love the Zunis have for their children, after years of planning, the Pueblo of Zuni was granted the right to establish its own pubic school district in 1980, the first school district created in New Mexico since the 1930's. (ZPSD "Bilingual program" website)

The high level of education as a consistent value in the culture, surviving through years of culturally incongruent education is one that also marks the Zuni people as exemplary in utilization of them as an example to other nations and the broader community. This can be seen in a very personal example, in the case of Virgil Wyaco, as even in the early 70s he was encouraged by his family to seek education, even when that education did not seemingly offer him any sort of potential for future employment in his Nation, with his people.

Wyaco 22) Wyaco's answer like so many other Native American's in his generation was to seek education elsewhere, including enlistment in the army during WWII and a furtherance of his education in white society.

The return of such people, to their Zuni roots is what will make it possible for multicultural education to succeed in the Zuni nation. Offers of higher education, are still limited to the Zuni, and are almost devoid in the insular community, but teaching requirements dependant upon state regulations will likely continue to be the norm. For this reason it is essential that the strength of the Zuni multicultural education be retained and strengthened even further to support early emphasis on Zuni culture and self value and to help those who must seek higher education away from home to be able to return to teach future generations of Zuni children to seek excellence and help their community to grow. Fostering a sense of culture, in those who seek an eventual return to traditional life is important for the development of further generations of Zuni peoples.

Works Cited

Juneau, Denise, and Mandy Smoker Broaddus. "And Still the Waters Flow: The Legacy of Indian Education in Montana it Took 34 Years, Extraordinary Perseverance, and a Series of Legislative and Legal Efforts before the Advocates of Indian Education for All Would Finally See Its Implementation in Montana's Classrooms. Ms. Juneau and Ms. Broaddus Chronicle the Law's Tortuous History." Phi Delta Kappan 88.3 (2006): 193.

Klotz, Irving M. "Multicultural Perspectives in Science Education: One Prescription for Failure." Phi Delta Kappan 75.3 (1993): 266.

Mitchell, Bruce M., and Robert E. Salsbury. Encyclopedia of Multicultural Education. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Roscoe, Will. The Zuni Man-Woman. 1st ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991.

Shafer, Michael S., and Ramasamy Rangasamy. "Transition and Native American Youth: A Follow-Up Study of School Leavers on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation." The Journal of Rehabilitation 61.1 (1995): 60.

Wyaco, Virgil. A Pueblo Indian in Two Worlds. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

ZPSD "Bilingual program" website at http://www.zuni.k12.nm.us/zms/Faculty/8th_Grade/520proj/biling.html

ZPSD "Licensure Process" website at http://zuni.k12.nm.us/LicensureProcess.html

ZPSD "Mission" website at http://zuni.k12.nm.us/webpage/index.html

ZPSD "Employment Opportunities" website at http://www.zuni.k12.nm.us/VacanciesAppProcess.html

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