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ERIC Number: ED256828
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Using the Swedish Model to Motivate the Development of Family/Ethnic Backgrounds as Educational Resources in American Schools.
Wernick, Walter
Educators rarely attempt to exploit the positive features of their students' family and ethnic backgrounds as helpful resources for instruction. Rather, they seek out students' individual differences only when problems arise. Thinking positively about the influences of particular features becomes lost in problem-centered efforts to maintain test scores and preserve the system. Energies and resources of a developing, integrative self are ignored, thus obscuring the real meaning of education: to make individuals, with personal and social identities, more productive. The first priority in catalyzing educational change is to sharpen and solidify national social policy regarding the education of students from different cultural backgrounds. Then, educational leaders must be held to a firm standard of managerial competence with respect to educational programs designed to meet those social policies. Sweden provides a model for developing such a system. In Sweden, the education of ethnics is shaped by three policies: (1) equality (assuring immigrant groups of living conditions equivalent to those of the national population); (2) freedom of choice (enabling minorities to decide the extent to which they are to retain their original cultural and linguistic identity); and (3) partnership (cooperation between minority/majority populations). These policies are implemented in several ways. Most notable is the delivery of home language instruction and Swedish language instruction to all immigrants below the age of 18. (This paper concludes with a list of recommendations for applying the Swedish model to American schools.) (KH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden