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Vandergriff Named to Education Commission

Knox faculty member to lead study panel on Native American education

March 08, 2007

James Vandergriff, visiting assistant professor of educational studies at Knox College, has been appointed chair of a national commission on American Indian education. The Commission on American Indian Education was created by the Association of Teacher Educators to study the current state of schools that serve Native American students.

"Over the next three years, we will examine both public and private schools, both on and off the reservations, and those with both high and low Native American enrollments," Vandergriff said. "Our goal is to discover the positives and the negatives of how American Indian children are served by our educational system."

Vandergriff's research interests include the preparation of Native Americans as teachers, and he and other members of the Knox College educational studies faculty are active in the field of Native American education. Vandergriff and Knox colleagues Donna Jurich and Diana Beck have done workshops for teachers and science and technology camps for students in Native American schools and have written an article, forthcoming in the Journal of American Indian Education, based on their teaching in the Navajo Nation. Vandergriff and Jurich directed professional development for teachers on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, and Beck led summer science camps for Navajo children and reservation teachers.

The commission is made up of faculty in the field of teacher education, including Jurich, Beverly Klug of Idaho State University, Jane McCarthy and LeAnn Putney of the University of Nevada, Janet Bercik of Northern Illinois University, and others to be selected.

The Association of Teacher Educators is a national organization with members at more than 650 colleges and universities, and more than 500 school systems and state departments of education.

Vandergriff has taught at Knox since 1999, and is currently serving as president of the Illinois Association of Teacher Educators. A graduate of Central Missouri State University, he earned a doctorate at the University of Arizona.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 44 nations. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

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Printed on Friday, October 31, 2014