Our Educational Philosophy
A Native American Perspective
NACA’s educational philosophy is grounded in the Native American world view and involves the clear understanding that educating a student is not simply an academic process.
To truly prepare a child for academic and life success, NACA believes the school experience must reach and honor the student on many levels and the community in which the student is living.
NACA has found that by integrating culture, language, personal wellness, family support, community connectedness, leadership preparedness, and college readiness into the academic curriculum a student is much more effectively guided and nurtured toward his or her success.
NACA is developing and equipping educators with the tools necessary to effectively teach Native American students. Our initiatives include:
- Hosting student teachers involved in the Teacher Residency program from the University of New Mexico School of Education.
- Leading Educators through Alternative Pathways (LEAP) is an intensive and innovative approach for a year-long alternative licensure program tailored to prepare teachers to be successful in New Mexico’s diverse classrooms. With the collaboration of stakeholders in education, LEAP was designed to be application-based, asking participants to immediately utilize strategies they learn, and is practitioner-focused, drawing heavily from teachers’ daily problems of practice.
Our student educators and Residents are immersed in an education experience that exemplifies the following core values through the daily life of the school:
Concern for harmonious relationships and courteous regard for others’ feelings and values; honoring yourself and your peers, family, elders, ancestors, teachers, school, community, and tribe/nation.
We are responsible to our People – past, present and future – as well as our environment and other living things. Being responsible is a form of trustworthiness; being accountable for your words, actions, and conduct in all that you do.
We belong to the NACA community as well as the communities of our neighborhoods, cities, pueblos, reservations, and nations. This means that, along with rights, we have the responsibility to provide service to make our community a better place for all.
We honor and value our own cultures and those of others. We recognize we are influenced by many cultures, including Indigenous, youth, and contemporary western cultures and are mindful in how this impacts the development of identity.
Indigenous people have endured because of the perseverance and determination of those that came before. We make our ancestors proud by remaining constant to a purpose, idea, or task in spite of obstacles. We engage our innate strengths and build relationships with others that support us in developing to our full potential.
Indigenous thinking and learning is a reflective process involving a deliberate looking inward, self-awareness, and contemplation of deeper meanings. We support this reflective practice to encourage thoughtfulness, personal growth, profound learning and meaningful change.