ERIC Number: ED159274
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Bilingual Education, Social Stratification, and Cultural Pluralism.
Equal Opportunity Review, Sum 78
In this society cultural pluralism and social stratification go hand in hand. Status differences among cultural groups can be clearly seen in urban schools, where there may be many different groups and where stereotyping often results. One problem with status stereotypes is that they are not completely fixed in reality. A further problem is that status stereotypes are destructive to, and have no place in, educational planning. When anthropologists make functional data available about other cultures, in the hope of enabling educators to plan and to make more enlightened decisions, they can be creating more stereotypes. Transitional, enrichment, and maintenance models of bilingual education each have different social and cultural implications. In considering these models, it is important to remember that social stratification and cultural pluralism are distinct phenomena, even though they may coincide in our society. Theoretically, schools and education can provide groups with the skills and resources necessary for them to compete more equally in the larger society. Alternatives for the future involve either doing away with structural and cultural pluralism through homogeneity, or making multiculturalism a desirable element of everyone's experience. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Inst. for Urban and Minority Education.