You are here:

Virtual museum projects for culturally responsive teaching in American Indian education

, The University of Texas at Austin, United States

The University of Texas at Austin . Awarded


This study consists of four case studies of virtual museum projects conducted in partnerships between tribally controlled American Indian schools and museums with Native American collections. The purpose of the study was two-fold: to examine the innovation of virtual museum projects as an educational innovation, and to determine what contributions such projects might make to the development of culturally responsive teaching practice. The model of virtual museum projects that the cases studies examined grew out of prior experiences with similar projects in the Four Directions project. Native American students worked with teachers, Native community members, museum professionals, and in one case, anthropologists, as they selected cultural items for a virtual exhibit to be included in a Web-based virtual museum. The students imaged their objects on a turntable using digital cameras to create three-dimensional QuickTime Virtual Reality media. They researched the items they had selected with the help of the Native community members, teachers, and museum professionals to write essays about the objects for the finished virtual exhibits. Research data included participant interviews, videotape of project activities, and other documents, including the digital virtual museum products. The interviews were transcribed and coded using Nud*ist software. By pulling out specific coded passages and correlating them with other research data, specific themes related to the conduct and response to each case emerged. In a second level of analysis, the themes of all of the cases were compared and condensed into a comprehensive description of virtual museum projects that follow the model used in this study. Problems that were identified in each of the projects suggested specific solutions that were added to a prescriptive description of virtual museum projects. In a separate chapter, coded statements relating to primarily student and community responses across all of the projects were examined to determine how the projects worked as a culturally responsive practice. The culturally responsive elements identified included the affirmation of culture, Native people saying who they are to the world, collaboration, hands on learning, the familiar and familial aspects of the objects, and student choice. The projects were responsive to the Native communities as well.


Christal, M.A. Virtual museum projects for culturally responsive teaching in American Indian education. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved December 16, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact