Family, Community, and School Impacts on American Indian and Alaska Native Students’ Success

Reyhner provides a review of research focused on the impact of community, family, and schools on the academic success of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. There are reviews of literature that provide a broad overview of AI/AN education, but the author narrows the paper down to focus specifically on the roles of traditional cultures on educational outcomes. Some of the reviewed research describes incongruence between AI/AN native cultures and that of the schooling enterprise, particularly in terms of schools that sought to minimize students’ attachments to their cultures. Other review research describes schools that actively incorporate native culture and language, including schools that are community-controlled. Though Reyhner’s review does not provide detail on classroom practices or strategies for educators to adopt, it does highlight relevant research for educators seeking to adjust classroom and school culture to be inclusive for AI/AN students.

Content Comments 

This resource is of high quality in its description of research aimed at raising the achievement of American Indian and Alaska Native students. The reviews highlight and describe both historical and contemporary barriers to achievement, and provide suggestions for how to remove them. The ideas in this paper are well-communicated, though its mostly unformatted text is somewhat challenging to read. The resource has high utility in that it addresses an urgent need of states and tribes. It has the potential to positively affect student achievement with its careful synthesis of prior literature.