Document Type

Graduate Research

Publication Date



Excerpt: "The successive attempts to educate the American Indian have not produced the result desired by the educators and the American public. Perhaps it is the "successive attempts" that are at fault or there may be any number of reasons. The responsibility for the education of the Indian has been accepted by the United States Government. [...] The resulting degrees of success and failure are understandable when the purpose of the education was civilization and assimilation and the adoption by the Indians of the white ways of living. [...] The problem is to find ways to motivate the Sioux Indian school child so that he will not only attend school but learn the prescribed lessons or courses well enough to become a competent citizen in this Democracy. It seems that the fundamental difficulty is that the work in which the schools seek to engage the Indian child is not significant to him. It does not satisfy the needs which the individual child experiences. It does not gratify any hunger or yearning he has felt. It does not answer any questions which his experiences have raised in his mind. It does not contribute to the solution of any problems which he has encountered in actual life. [...] The present paper is an inquiry into "movers of conduct" with particular reference to Oglala Sioux children. This study will be concerned with motivation as that which accounts for what one does. Basic research increasingly interests itself in human motives. We are what our motives are. Motivation research asks why. It is the seeking to understand."


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