Critically Analyzing ACT 31: A Non-Indigenous Instructor's Teaching Reflections on An Online American Indian Course for Wisconsin Teachers


  • Manu Sharma


This paper critically analyzes Act 31 and its implementation in an additional qualification course for licensed teachers in Wisconsin. The course fulfills the statutory requirement for the study of the history, treaty rights, and current situation of Wisconsin Native Americans. I first explain how Act 31 came about and examine its legal requirements for experienced and student teachers in teacher education programs. I then recount my experience as the instructor of the online summer course for experienced teachers. My reflections on teaching practice and the context of the course question the rigor and accountability of Act 31. Findings indicate that for Act 31 to be effective, teacher education programs must do more in hiring, designing, and delivering American Indian courses in conjunction with Wisconsin's American Indian communities. Such a partnership and investment of resources would allow for more impactful and influential teaching.


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