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Indigenous Education Speakers’ Series: Dr. Rachel Byington
February 28 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The UW-Madison School of Education will host Dr. Rachel Byington as part of the Indigenous Education Speakers’ series. She will give a talk titled “Equitable Education: Choices, Impact, and Change.” This presentation will share results from Dr. Byington’s study looking into the experiences of American Indian youth while learning about American Indians in the classroom. Dr. Byington conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 urban American Indian youth ranging from eighth grade to two years post-graduation to gain insight into their experiences in schools, with particular attention to teaching about the tribes of Wisconsin. Focusing on the context in which “Native peoples” (in Wisconsin or elsewhere) are presented in the classroom—good, bad or mediocre—or left out completely, Dr. Byington documented what students recollected about being taught about “Native peoples.” Her goal was to understand the efficacy of Act 31 in correlation to student experiences in the schools.
Dr. Byington is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and is from Madison where she lives with her husband, kids and dogs. She has dedicated her work to serve American Indian populations in urban and tribal communities. Dr. Byington earned her degrees from UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Family, Consumer, and Community Education in 2008; and her master’s degree (2015) and PhD (2020) from the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies. She is currently employed with Earth Partnership: Indigenous Arts and Sciences as the Tribal Youth and Community Liaison supporting youth programs, professional development, and community seasonal events along with curriculum development, research and evaluation. Dr. Byington enjoys spending time with family, hiking, biking, and gardening.