Penn GSE CMSI

Cynthia Benally

Cynthia Benally is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She is from the Tobacco People and born for the Coyote Pass clan. She is a National Board Certified Teacher as a Middle Childhood Generalist and an elementary school teacher of 19 years. Cynthia is currently on faculty with the Center for Diné Teacher Education at Diné College. She earned her doctorate in education from Arizona State University in 2014. Her dissertation focused on two Arizona policies that mandate Native American history instruction in all Arizona K-12 classrooms. She researched the genesis of the policies and their implementation in urban school districts. Her current research interests include utilizing Native epistemologies and knowledge systems in education and teacher preparation programs. These were the focus of her article, “Creating and Negotiating Native Spaces in Public School Systems: An Arizona Example,” published in a 2014 special issue of the Journal of American Indian Education.