The educational philosophy of Diné College “Sa’ah Naaghai Bik’eh Hozhoo”, the Diné traditional living system, places Dine’ life in harmony with the natural world and the universe. This unique educational philosophy and mission is grounded in Navajo cultural traditions. The philosophy provides principles both for protection from the imperfections in life and for the development of well-being. The Diné Educational Philosophy, developed by Navajo cultural specialists, represents the essence of the Navajo outlook on life. As shown in the figure below, the core of this philosophy is expressed in concepts and values associated with natural processes identified with the four cardinal directions, including such processes as the daily cycle of day and night and the annual cycle of the seasons. Diné College fulfills its mission by using the Sa’ah Naaghái Bik’eh Hozhoo principle as a framework to educate its students:
- Nitsáhákees (Thinking), Nahat’á (Planning), Iiná (Living) and Sihasin (Assuring)
- Studying Diné language, history, and culture
- Preparing for further studies and employment in a multi-cultural and technological world
- Fostering social responsibility, community service and scholarly research that contribute to the social, economic and cultural well being of the Navajo Nation.
This philosophy guides all aspects of Diné College’s educational planning activities, as well as priority setting and implementation of research projects.