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«“Before We Teach It, We Have to Learn It”: Wisconsin Act 31 Compliance within Public Teacher Preparation Programs A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE ...»

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25-29 2 30-34 1 35-39 3 40-44 4 45-49 5 50-55 4 Each respondent was asked to identify his or her ethnicity and were given seven options to choose from. The respondent was given the option to select more than one option as well as a place to more specifically identify the region, area and/or tribal affiliation within each category. The categories that respondents chose from were based on the United States Census Bureau categories and included White, Black/African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, and Other. Two categories had zero respondents, Black/African American and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. The majority of respondents (n = 14) designated themselves as White (58%). The second highest category with five respondents (21%) was American Indian/Alaska Native. The Asian category was third with three respondents (13%) and the last two categories, Hispanic/Latino and Other, had only one respondent composing 4% each of the survey respondents. None of the respondents designated more than one category for his or her identity even though the option was presented within the survey. Within the category of American Indian/Alaska Native, all five respondents identified their specific tribal affiliation. Five tribes were specifically identified: Cherokee, Choctaw, Delaware, Ojibwe, and Oneida. Ojibwe and Oneida are both federally recognized tribes within the state of Wisconsin and would be included within the specifications of the Wisconsin state statutes. Ethnicity plays a significant factor in the background of the instructor in understanding what mind frame the instructor comes from.

Educational background. As a further component on the background of each instructor, formal educational background was also collected on each participant regarding their various levels of degrees as well as any other degree or licensing. Twentyone participants reported specific educational information in all categories while two only reported their specific doctoral information. One participant did not report any educational background information.

Undergraduate degrees. Out of the 21 responses reporting Bachelor degree information the majority (67%) were categorized into various Bachelor of Arts degrees.

The remaining seven responses were dispersed between Bachelors of Science, Music, Law, Fine Arts, and Education.

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1970-1979 1 1980-1989 6 1990-1999 8 2000-2010 6 As indicated in Table 2 above, years of conferment of degrees primarily came from the mid to late 1990s with 42%.Another 63% came from the 1980s and 2000s with an equal amount from each. With degrees being conferred primarily after the institution of Wisconsin Education Act 31 it would be indicative that these individuals would be well prepared in the basic knowledge that is necessary for Wisconsin Education Act 31.

However, only (33%) responses graduated with degrees from Wisconsin institutions.

Masters degrees. Out of the 21 participants reporting educational background information for Masters degrees, all except one had completed a Masters degree. Unlike the Bachelor degrees, there tended to be a more specified focus on education within the Masters degrees. Master of Arts tended to be more prominent with 45% (n = 9) of the responses. Master of Education followed with 35% (n = 7) reporting various areas of education specialization. The remaining four Masters degrees were designated Masters of Science, School Administration, and Music. Overall, the majority of those specifying their specialty within their Masters degrees were within various fields of education ranging from educational policy to special education to multicultural education and general education.

The years of conferment for both Masters degrees and Doctoral degrees are presented in Table 3 below.

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1990-1994 4 1 1995-1999 5 4 2000-2004 5 3 2005-2009 4 5 2010-2013 2 5 Years of conferment of degrees primarily came from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s with a total of 50% between the two categories. Another 40% came from the early 1990s and the late 2000s with an equal amount from each. The remaining 10% of responses were within the past three years. Although the focus of specialization was more definitive to education within the Masters degrees, the institutions where the degrees were conferred fell primarily out of the state of Wisconsin as with the Bachelor degrees. Rising slightly to 40%, eight responses came from Wisconsin institutions, while only three who had received their undergraduate degree outside of Wisconsin obtained their Masters from a Wisconsin institution.

Doctoral degrees. Out of the 23 participants reporting educational background information for doctoral degrees, 78% (n = 18) received a doctoral degree while another 9% (n = 2) are in progress of receiving a doctoral degree. Thirteen percent (n = 3) did not have a doctoral degree nor did they indicate that a doctoral degree was being pursued.

Only one had a Doctor of Education rather than a Doctor of Philosophy. Similar to the Masters degrees, there tended to be a more specified focus on education with those who reported their specific area, which was seventy-five percent (n = 15). The highest field reported was curriculum and instruction with 33.33% (n = 5). Education policy studies and history/philosophy of education each comprised 13.33% (n = 2) of the specified fields with the remaining 40% (n = 6) of fields in the areas of general education, urban education, teacher education, social and cultural studies in education, educational psychology, and urban studies.

Years of conferment of degrees primarily came from the late 2000s to the early 2010s with a total of 56% between the two categories. When adding in the early 2000s, the percentage raises to 72% making the majority of doctoral degrees coming from the 21st century. The remaining 18% of responses occurred primarily in the late 1990s. As with the Masters degrees, the institutions where the degrees were conferred fell primarily out of the state of Wisconsin. Only 30% reported receiving their degree from a Wisconsin institution. The two degrees in progress are also studying at a Wisconsin institution, which raises the number slightly to 40% equaling the number of Masters degrees.

Other degrees or licensing. Out of 24 surveys completed, only 21% (n = 5) reported “other” types of training. Forty percent of the responses were in fields unrelated to education, while another 40% were related to teacher certification and 10% was related to distance education with no degree association. Based on the survey, the impact of other degrees or licensing had no impact on the background of the participant, as the fields were completely unrelated to not only education but also American Indian Studies.

Institution information. All 13 four year institutions in the University of Wisconsin System were contacted regarding their teaching programs and asked to identify the courses that comply with Wisconsin state statute s.118.19(8), the teacherlicensing portion of Wisconsin Act 31. Three institutions did not respond either to the initial request or follow up requests for participation in the study. A fourth institution that is not included in the study was UW-Parkside who indicated that they currently do not have a teaching certification program at their institution. The institutions that did participate were UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UWOshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, and UW-Whitewater as indicated in Table 4 below.

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Almost half of the respondents came from two institutions, UW-Eau Claire and UWMadison, comprising 48% together. Another 22% of the respondents came equally from UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee. The remaining 30% of respondents came from the other five institutions. The table is ranked from highest response rate to lowest.

The respondents were asked to identify which department(s) he or she is affiliated with at his or her respected institution. The majority of participants reported being affiliated with one department while two of the twenty-three (9%) reported being affiliated with more than one department. The highest response (35%, n = 8) came from those who reported an affiliation with education including Education, Education Studies, and Schools of Education. Another 17% came specifically from the department of Curriculum and Instruction including cross listing with specialized departments such as music. Twenty-two percent came from non-education related departments; First Nations Studies (13%) and History (9%). Nine percent came from Educational Policy Studies while the remaining 17% came from various education related and non-educated related departments including, Humanities, Women’s studies, Educational Foundations, Library and Information Studies, and English. Table 5 below provides department affiliation of all of the respondents.

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In addition to identifying which department each respondent was affiliated with, he or she was asked to provide the year he or she began teaching at the institution. The majority (74%, n = 17) of participants indicated his or her start year within the last five years. The remaining 26% (n = 6) were distributed through the early 2000s and the early to mid-1990s as indicated in the table in Table 6 below, which also includes the number of respondents for each year.

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1991-1995 2 1996-2000 1 2001-2005 3 2006-2010 9 2011-2013 8 When looking at both the years of conferment of degrees and the start date of hiring by the institution, each instructor should have been aware of and able to incorporate Act 31 information into the course Instructor teaching and course materials. The purpose of this section of the survey was to get an idea of the instructor who teaches the course that addresses the requirements of Act 31. The survey covered how the instructor was chosen to teach the course, whether or not the instructor has had any professional or personal development or cultural experiences with regard to American Indian Studies and finally what resources are used within the course. In relation to how the instructor came to teach the course the majority fell into the categories of areas of expertise and academic preparation, prior teaching experience in relation to the course now teaching, and hired specifically to teach the course. These three categories comprised 57% (n = 13) of the responses. Another 35% (n = 8) came from filling in for another professor or taking over a course after the departure of the previous instructor of the course, teaching assistant or graduate assistant, and recommendation by a colleague. The remaining 8% (n = 2) responses came from an interview process and the creation of a course to specifically address Wisconsin Act 31 issues and topics.

Professional development, personal development, and cultural experiences. One of the components to providing a solid foundation within the classroom is by looking at the training and relationships between the instructor and the students. The questions of professional development and personal development and/or cultural experiences were developed to provide an understanding of continued learning in both academia and in particular with those in tribal communities who are arguably the most authentic resources. Informative results were developed based on these questions. Although the instructors had a good foundation in formal education, development and experiences with regard to American Indian Studies was not as common. Over one-third (39%, n = 9) of participants did not have professional development with regard to American Indian Studies. Of the 61% (n = 14) who have had professional development, two specific programs were mentioned the most.

The Widening the Circle Act 31 Conference held at the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse was mentioned by 36% (n = 5) of those reporting professional development.

All of the respondents indicated that he or she was an annual attendee to the conference while some were also presenters and participants in other avenues to the conference. The second most mentioned program was the Wisconsin Department of Instruction American Indian Studies Summer Institute, which is also held annually. Twenty-nine percent (n =

4) of yes responses mentioned this institute. Another 21% (n = 3) indicated some sort of collaboration with tribal communities in his or her particular area. Other areas of professional development included seminars, conferences, professional organizations, campus projects, teaching assistantships, and Native organizations. Of note, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s First Nations Program and projects were mentioned by 14% (n = 2) of responders as significant to his or her professional development. Although professional development is a good step to furthering knowledge and making connections, personal development and cultural experiences bring the instructor closer to tribal people.

On the other hand, the number of participants indicating personal development and/or cultural experiences is less than those participating in professional development.

Over half (52%, n = 12) of the respondents indicated that they did not have any personal development or cultural experiences with American Indian Studies. For those who reported personal development and/or cultural experiences with American Indian Studies, all of the responses (82%, n = 9) except two could be categorized into a general category of tribal communities. Within this broad category were relationships with individual tribal members, working with elders, working with tribal agencies and organizations including schools. The other two responses (18%) were non-specific responses such as social, research, and varied.

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