ERIC Number: ED183439
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Dec-3
Reference Count: 0
Education and Ethnicity: Euro-Ethnics in Anglo-Ethnic Schools.
Femminella, Francis X.
This paper explores the overt and covert ways in which the American educational system destroys cognitive styles which are different from the predominant Anglo-German style. Cognitive styles are the ways in which people think: how they organize and remember knowledge. The author contends that ethnic groups, specifically those of European origin, originally had cognitive styles that differed from the Anglo-German style upon which our educational system is based. As first, second, and third generation ethnic individuals interact with the educational system, they lose their unique styles of thinking and learning. This is a detriment to all of American society. To support his argument, the author describes (1) research on the effects of student self-image and teacher expectations upon student performance, (2) the failure of school curricula to teach children the dual dimensionality of their heritage, and (3) evidence of discrimination against the hiring of ethnic minorities in high levels of educational administration and professorial positions. He then cites evidence of cross-cultural differences in information processing and cognitive styles. This point is explored in depth through a comparative analysis of the traditional British and Italian educational systems. Significant differences are noted in the use of formal and informal language, teaching methods, personal interaction, and student residence. The author concludes with recommendations for change in federally funded programs to promote ethnic awareness, better research into ethnic groups in the U.S., curriculum change for greater ethnic sensitivity, and support of ethnic centers around the country. (AV)
Descriptors: Change Agents, Cognitive Style, Comparative Analysis, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Background, Cultural Differences, Curriculum Problems, Educational Change, Educational Problems, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Groups, Higher Education, Public Schools, Research Needs, Social Integration, Social Science Research, Universities
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For related documents, see SO 012 364 and 366; Paper presented to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (Chicago, IL, December 3, 1979)