"That's my experience": negotiating what it means to be "Indian" in a school counseling program

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Education
Department Education, Culture & Society
Author Searle, Kristin Anne
Title "That's my experience": negotiating what it means to be "Indian" in a school counseling program
Date 2016
Description Schooling for American Indians developed differently than it did for other groups in the United States. This difference is largely the result of the unique relationship between American Indians and the U.S. government and the ways in which government policies and practices were carried out. Thus, any consideration of the present contexts of American Indian education must also take into account past contexts and enduring legacies of imperialism, colonialism, and racism. In this thesis, I argue that history matters and needs to be made visible in the experiences of American Indians in educational institutions today. Utilizing ethnographic methods, I document the experiences of three American Indian graduate students who were enrolled in a master's degree program in school counseling at a large research university in the Intermountain West that I call Western University (a pseudonym). Emphasizing the importance of ontological and epistemological tensions, I explore the ways in which participants' multiple, situated identities as Indigenous individuals, graduate students, and future school counselors are coconstructed in and through moments of local practice which are closely connected to enduring historical struggles around Indigenous identity, self-determination, and the purposes of schooling. This is a study about education, but it is also largely a study of the multiple ways in which it is possible to be an Indigenous person in the twenty-first century. This study contributes to theoretical discussions of community membership and what it means to perform legitimate membership in that community. The study also makes theoretical contributions in its insistence in moving beyond simplistic dichotomies in the description (both popular and academic) and actualization of Indianness in the twenty-first century United States. Methodologically, my approach demonstrates the value of weaving together the perceptions, voices, and experiences of the participants with those of community members and university power brokers. Practically, this study suggests that the individual instructors and programs responsible for preparing school counselors and other educational professionals must both approach their own students as diverse learners with distinct ways of being and knowing and prepare them for counseling individuals with distinct ways of being and knowing.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject American Indian; education; school counseling
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management ©Kristin Anne Searle
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 469,539 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/4265
ARK ark:/87278/s69w3pwb
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2016-10-13
Date Modified 2018-03-19
ID 197810
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s69w3pwb
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