Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Tracy DeMars

Second Advisor

Kathy Sills


Native American culturally relevant pedagogy is a form of non-traditional assessment, which focuses on ways to measure what students learn, understand or do not understand, without using the standard traditional assessment of a test or quiz. In schools today, there is a lack of culturally relevant teaching because schools are deep into a curriculum that is Eurocentric and focused on the dominant culture, European Americans. To see if Native American culturally relevant pedagogy assessment strategies were beneficial to students of all races in a suburban classroom, action research was done in an internship classroom in a suburban school district. Two units in social studies were taught, in which one unit used only Native American culturally relevant assessment strategies, such as linking assessment to instruction, embedding assessment into instruction and providing for individual and cooperative assessment opportunities. The second unit was taught using only traditional assessment strategies, such as quizzes and tests that contained multiple choice, true or false, matching and short answer questions. The findings showed how non-traditional assessment strategies are just as effective as traditional assessment strategies, and proved that students in a suburban classroom can benefit from Native American culturally relevant assessment practices in a positive way. Using non-traditional assessment strategies connect to each child’s learning style and help students to do more hands-on, cooperative learning activities and break the Eurocentric curriculum barrier. To further this action research, going back to see what the students retained from both types of assessment could show whether traditional assessment or non-traditional assessment helped students understand content at a deeper level.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access