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ERIC Number: ED114399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Ethnicity and Education: Cultural Homogeneity and Ethnic Conflict.
Lazerson, Marvin
Americans have long equated popular education with social cohesion and social mobility. After the American revolution, the school became a focus for patriotism and the institution where individuals learned how to become citizens. The testbooks of the mid-19th and early 20th century emphasized white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant values. While the values of cultural homogeneity have dominated American education since the mid-19th centruy, they have never been implemented without conflict. Four of these conflicts are particularly suggestive of both the extent to which ethnic alternatives were available in education and the limited tolerance for cultural variety in the schools. These are (1) the conflict over foreign customs and foreign languages (biculturalism and bilingualism), (2) the conflicts over parochial education, (3) the conflict between white and black Americans over socialization into a common mold, and (4) the conflict between the cultural values of American ethnic groups and the demands of school achievement. Certain developments in American educational history seem sufficiently clear to allow their use in current debates over ethnicity and the schools. Appeals for ethnic pluralism have a long history in American education and, especially in the 19th century, have sometimes been successful. But the ideological commitment to cultural homogenity in American education has been stronger and has made public education highly resistant to ethnic pluralism. (RC)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
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Note: Earlier version of this article was given as an address at the National Education Association Conference on Educational Neglect (February 1975)