What it is

Indigenous & Arctic education

  • Equity and access in K-12 and postsecondary education
  • Youth perceptions and identity in the Arctic
  • Formal and non-institutional education for sustainable development
  • Comparative circumpolar education policy

Lead researcher

Photo of Diane Hirshberg
Diane Hirshberg Professor of Education Policy
Work Phone: 907-786-5413

Current projects

  • Arctic Youth-Sustainable Futures –
    The “Arctic Youth and Sustainable Futures” project aims fill an identified gap in knowledge on the lives, ambitions, needs of and challenges faced by youth – indigenous and non-indigenous – across the circumpolar north.
  • Improving Childcare Outcomes Research (ICOR)
    Improving Childcare Outcomes Research Project (ICOR) is a Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Implementation Research and Evaluation Grant to Cook Inlet Tribal Council, with CAEPR serving as the research Partner. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ICOR will create professional development (PD) aimed at strengthening culturally responsive practice among two cohorts of educators providing Early Head Start services to low-income Alaska Native/American Indian families in Anchorage. A set of standards, indicators, and evidence for culturally responsive practice in an early learning environment, adapted from current State of Alaska Cultural Standards for K-12 educators, will be developed and used to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. A formative evaluation will guide refinement of the PD prior to training the second teacher cohort.
  • The Role of Education in Supporting Self-Determined Sustainable Development in Alaska
    Diane Hirshberg is collaborating with Charlene Stern, Assistant Professor & Dept. Co-Chair, UAF Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development, and Nolan Klouda, Director, University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, on an exploration of the role that education and knowledge transfer play in enabling Arctic communities to be resilient, sustainable, and to exercise self-determination. Funded through a University of Alaska Faculty Initiative Fund award, they are working with two communities to develop a process for 1) defining their self-determined sustainable development goals; 2) identifying knowledge required to achieve these goals; 3) mapping who holds what knowledge and where there are gaps, and 4) creating a plan to grow the expertise or capacity needed. Their goal is to collaboratively develop and document a process through which local communities can do this work themselves, as opposed to applying an externally developed instrument or process that may or may not reflect their cultures, goals, and needs.

Most Recent Publications

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