ERIC Number: ED252054
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Public Attitudes Toward Bilingual Education.
Huddy, Leonie; And Others
Public attitudes toward bilingual education were explored in a survey of a national non-Hispanic sample of 1,570 individuals. Four issues were addressed: (1) the popular conception of bilingual education; (2) how informed the American public is about the bilingual education issue; (3) the level of public support or opposition to bilingual education; and (4) the underlying reasons for current public opinion, analyzed by comparing a symbolic politics approach with self-interest explanations. It was found that the public supports bilingual education, expresses definite attitudes about it, and thinks about it in many ways. A small minority saw it as an issue of cultural and linguistic maintenance, and when it was described in this way reactions were much less favorable, suggesting that public support is for programs that simply teach English to language minority children. Expressed attitudes were only minimally based on direct personal experiences, indicating the issue is more a symbolic one, with public reactions based on feelings toward Hispanics and government assistance to minorities generally. Attitudes toward bilingual education were more strongly linked to respondents' attitudes about language teaching in the schools than to stances on spending or general bilingualism. It is proposed that the symbolism of the issue may be crucial to its future in public educational policy. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, August 24-28, 1984).