Maximizing Indigenous Student Learning In The Mainstream With Language And Culture

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John W. Schwieter
J. Luis Jaimes-Dominguez


language and culture, minority education, indigenous teaching and learning


In this paper, we explore the importance of being conscious of the needs of indigenous students within the education system in order to increase their learning process and decrease their dropout rates. Specifically, we discuss how Mayan language, culture, and ideologies affect the educational outcome of Mayan students in mainstream classes in Guatemalan schools. From this discussion, we highlight the impact that these factors have on both teacher training and the education of the indigenous student population. A simple “teaching to learn – learning to teach” model is explained which discusses the importance of multilingual and multicultural aspects of teacher training and real-life implications in the indigenous student learning process.


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