Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators
The Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators (DINÉ) is a partnership between Northern Arizona University and schools on the Navajo Nation who are participating in the Yale National Initiative. The Institute provides innovative K-12 teacher professional development that elevates curricular rigor and strengthens culturally responsive teaching in public, BIE, and tribally-controlled schools across the Diné Nation.
Teachers who are DINÉ Fellows participate in an 8-month Fellowship that will increase their:
- Content knowledge
- Curriculum-development skills
- Capacity to deliver culturally responsive lessons
- Leadership ability
- Writing capacity
Teachers participate in a seminar group that is led by University faculty who are content experts. Teachers learn the seminar material through reading, discussion, and independent research. Each teacher writes a unique curriculum unit for use in their classroom.
The Diné Institute for Navajo Nation Educators (DINÉ) is centered around 3 guiding principles:
- Diné and other Indigenous youth, teachers, elders, and communities are rich sources and sites of knowledge.
- Culturally responsive schooling is a best practice, and the DINÉ integrates Navajo traditional knowledge throughout all aspects of our teaching, learning, and leading.
- Initiatives that strengthen teaching through culturally responsive professional development will in turn improve the educational attainment of Diné and other Indigenous youth, which is a necessary component for tribal nation (re)building goals of sovereign Native Nations in the U.S.
The DINÉ has three broad goals:
- Establish sustainable partnerships between Navajo schools and NAU that empower teacher growth and foster mutually beneficial cultural and content knowledge between the partners.
- Build capacity for culturally responsive, academically rigorous curriculum development and delivery among all teachers in Navajo schools.
- Enhance and promote teacher leadership and student achievement within Navajo schools.