Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools


The DETS Project is part of a national effort to decrease the incidence and improve the care of type 2 diabetes among American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). The DETS Project is a K - 12 Curriculum that was developed using a multidisciplinary approach. The DETS Curriculum consists of units that incorporate National Science Education Standards, Inquiry-Learning (5E model), and AI/AN cultural and community knowledge.


The goals of the DETS K - 12 Curriculum are:

  • Increase the understanding of health, diabetes, and maintaining life in balance among American Indian/Alaska Native students. (Teach about diabetes)

    The curriculum incorporates inquiry-based learning that will enhance students' science process skills. Lessons encourage students to become researchers. Investigative inquiry (observing, measuring, predicting, inferring, classifying, experimenting, communicating, etc.) allows students to emulate the work of real-life researchers. The discoveries of diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of diabetes increase student understanding and appreciation for direct and indirect effects of scientific research within a cultural framework.

  • Increase American Indian/Alaska Native students' understanding and application of scientific and community knowledge. (Value and use scientific and traditional knowledge)

    The DETS curriculum supports the integration of AI/AN culture and tribal community knowledge with diabetes-related science. Lesson plans enhance the content being taught to meet educational standards within school districts.

  • Increase interest in science and health professions among American Indian/Alaska Native youth. (Encourage science and health careers)

    The DETS curriculum encourages students to gain an understanding of diabetes-related biomedical sciences. Lessons are built around role models who are health science professionals. Students increase their awareness of careers in science and health. They also learn about the value of the involvement of these professionals in their communities.
Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools