Native Culture & Language in the Classroom Observation Brief

November 19, 2019
Topics:
Child Care, Early Head Start, Head Start, Home Visiting
Projects:
American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES) | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
Cover of Introducing the Native Culture & Language in the Classroom Observation
Download report (pdf)
  • File Size 490kb
  • Pages 2
  • Published 2019

Introduction

The American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015 (AI/AN FACES 2015) is the first national descriptive study of children and families enrolled in Head Start programs operated by federally recognized tribes. These programs are known as Region XI. Region XI programs incorporate their unique history, community traditions, and beliefs into their operations and integrate language and culture into the delivery of services to children and families. AI/AN FACES 2015 was informed by a workgroup comprised of Region XI Head Start directors, researchers from universities and Mathematica Policy Research (which conducted the study), and federal officials from the Administration for Children and Families (which funded the study).

An observational measure of culture and language in Native classrooms did not exist, so the study team collaborated with Workgroup members to develop an observational measure of Native culture and language in the classroom. The Native Culture & Language in the Classroom Observation (NCLCO) records the types of culturally significant materials that surround children in Region XI Head Start programs and classrooms and can capture information on materials’ use.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • On average, 3.2 NCLCO cultural items were observed to be present in Region XI Head Start children's classrooms during the 4-hour observation period in spring 2016.
  • On average, one of those items was observed to have been in use during the 4-hour observation.
  • During the 4-hour classroom observation, Native language was used often in children’s classrooms in both instruction and conversations
  • Storytelling occurred less frequently during that 4-hour observation.

Citation

AI/AN FACES 2015 Workgroup. (2019). “A Year in Region XI Head Start: Children’s Growth and Development from the American Indian and Alaska Native Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015 (AI/AN FACES 2015): Introducing the Native Culture & Language in the Classroom Observation (NCLCO).” OPRE Report #2019–85. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glossary

AI/AN FACES 2015
American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015
NCLCO
Native Culture & Language in the Classroom Observation
Region XI Head Start
Head Start programs operated by federally recognized AI/AN tribes for children and families.
Last Reviewed: November 15, 2019