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ERIC Number: ED327368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Review of Two Studies concerning the Values of Eskimo Children.
Bates, Clifton
Robert Coles' book "Eskimos, Chicanos, Indians, Children in Crisis" (1977) and Don Barnett's article "Attitudes of Eskimo School Children" (1973) attempt to present needed information on the values of Eskimo children. However, many of their findings are questionable due to poor methodology and interpretation. During summer visits to Alaska, Coles observed 8 Eskimo children and interviewed Native families and village teachers. But, the overwhelming influence of winter on Eskimos' attitudes and feelings can not be understood through a few summer visits. In addition, how Coles was treated, where he stayed, and whom he met must have been affected by the fact that he is a white outsider and a doctor. Coles intellectualized and read into children's behavior to an unacceptable extent. His valid findings are those observations reported without interpretation, such as Eskimo children's pride in their way of life, great interest in the white man's world, and resulting internal conflict; low verbal interaction; quiet and gentle speech; and sociable and cooperative behavior. Barnett also used questionable methods in his survey of the attitudes of 54 Eskimo children, grades 3-8. Questions contained unfamiliar terms and instructions and sophisticated language and gave no consideration to culturally distinct sex roles or possible bias in student responses to an unfamiliar white test-giver. Additionally, Barnett made generalized and sometimes disturbing recommendations, such as the need for teachers to lower their expectations of culturally different students. (SV)
Publication Type: Book/Product Reviews; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Coles (Robert)