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UCLA Institute of American Cultures

Title: GF Kneller Chair in Education and Anthropology
Department: Education and American Indian Studies

Current Project(s):

  • My research focuses on Indigenous education, language reclamation, and linguistic and education rights. I am PI on a national study of Indigenous-language immersion (ILI) schooling funded by the Spencer Foundation ( This mixed-method study is investigating ILI, an instructional innovation with over three decades of implementation history for which a systematic database is lacking. The study’s rationale stems from Indigenous community concerns about heritage language loss and enduring achievement disparities for Native students. In response, many Native communities have developed culture-based approaches in which all or most academic content is engaged through the Indigenous language. The study includes:

    1. a national survey of ILI programs to identify their objectives, key features, and stated outcomes;
    2. in-depth case studies of 8 ILI sites to examine the processes and practices that produce particular program effects; and
    3. comparison of learning opportunities and outcomes for ILI programs with those of carefully matched non-immersion sites.

    The study aims to: (1) advance our understanding of factors that lead to improved education practice for Native American students; (2) support Native communities in their language education and reclamation efforts; and (3) highlight the ways in which linguistic and cultural diversity can be marshalled to enhance education for all learners.


Available Publications/Books:

  • McCarty, T.L. (2018). Twelfth Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research. So That Any Child May Succeed: Indigenous Pathways Toward Justice and the Promise of Brown. Educational Researcher, 47(5), 271-283.
  • Coronel-Molina, S.M., & McCarty, T.L. (Eds.) (2016). Indigenous Language Revitalization in the Americas. New York and London: Routledge.

Tagged: Education, Youth Justice, Language Revitalization