ERIC Number: ED390953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
In Search of Ogbu.
Smith, Jewel E.
This paper reviews the theory of John U. Ogbu on minority educational performance and examines some criticisms of his theory put forth by some colleagues. In his cross-cultural studies Ogbu has identified two distinct minority groups, each exhibiting a distinct type of cultural difference in relation to the dominant society. The immigrant, or voluntary, minority group consists of people who "volunteered" to come to this country in search of opportunity. The "castelike," or involuntary, minorities were brought into the society by force, through slavery, conquest, or colonization. While the voluntary minorities exhibit primary cultural differences that existed before their arrival, the involuntary minorities exhibit secondary cultural differences arising after their contact with the dominant culture. The identification of these types of minorities provides a context for discussing problems of academic performance. Principal criticisms of Ogbu's theory come from those who consider it deterministic, those who consider that it lacks empirical support, and those who consider that Ogbu fails to take into account the role of culture in effective learning. Support is offered for Ogbu's theory of why some minorities do better than others in the areas of social adjustment and academic performance. The implications of his ideas for education and for the role of teachers are discussed. (Contains 21 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Involuntary Minorities; Ogbu (John)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).