Struggling for Voice in a Black and White World: Lumbee Indians' Segregated Educational Experience in North Carolina

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Title: Struggling for Voice in a Black and White World: Lumbee Indians' Segregated Educational Experience in North Carolina
Author: Dial, Heather Kimberly
Advisors: Patricia L. Marshall, Ed.D., Committee Co-Chair
Anna V. Wilson, Ph. D., Committee Co-Chair
Ellen S. Vasu, Ph.D., Committee Member
Peter A..Hessling, Ph.D., Committee Member
Abstract: This study investigates the North Carolina Lumbee Indians' segregated educational experience in the time period before desegregation which was 1968 in Hoke County and 1970 in Robeson County. This oral history documents the experiences of the Lumbee Indians in the segregated Indian schools and adds their voices to the general discourse about Indian schools in our nation and to the history of education. Oral history is the mode of qualitative inquiry for this historical research. The sample included six members of the Lumbee community who experienced education in the segregated Indian schools in Hoke and Robeson Counties of southern North Carolina. The oral history research involved interviews with teachers, students, or administrators. A network selection sampling procedure was used to select participants. The main data sources were the participants' oral educational histories. Limited archival research (e.g., board of education minutes) supports the final analysis. An analysis method for categorizing and classifying data was employed. The analysis method is similar to the constant comparative method of data analysis. Major findings show that the Lumbee students not only experienced a culturally supportive education, but also experienced a resource poor environment in the segregated Indian schools. Conversely, desegregation provided increased equity in educational resources and educational opportunities for the Lumbee students which unfortunately resulted in a loss of community, identity, and diminished the teacher-student connection. Findings indicate the awareness of the participants regarding the role of segregation in the larger societal context. Participants emphasized that their teachers in the Indian schools stressed academic success as a key to elevating students out of poverty. My research quest led me to question the quality of learning that the Lumbee received. Currently, Lumbee students not only have low scores on major tests of achievement, but also have high dropout rates. Educators in the schools can use this research to critically examine their curriculum, instruction, practices, and policies. In conclusion, educators need to address the needs of the Lumbee Indian students.
Date: 2006-04-28
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Curriculum Studies

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