ERIC Number: ED259052
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
The Role of the School in the Maintenance and Change of Ethnic Group Affiliations.
The public schools play a major role in the Americanization of foreign-born students. This process gives rise to questions regarding the meanings attached to ethnic identity and the effect that the schools have on the formulation and change of these meanings. To examine these issues, 18 Portuguese immigrant students in an urban New England school were studied to determine whether there were differences in manifestations of ethnic identity in various settings. Comparisons were made between 8 "recent" immigrants (in the United States for less than 2 years) and 10 early arrivals (here from 6-16 years). Additionally, both the school's official policy and actual practices (including teacher attitudes) vis-a-vis limited English proficient (LEP) students, were examined. In a general sense, it was found, the 18 students lived in two cultures, one at home and the other at school. Instead of helping them adapt to their bicultural reality, the school tried to negate the students' Portuguese culture while at the same time discouraging acceptance into the American culture, this being demonstrated in the differences between the earlier and more recent arrivals. To survive in the school, the earlier arrivals were forced to negate some of their home attachments and establish an identity apart from the low-status Portuguese. Even so, they were not completely successful: sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, and the school's lack of sensitivity to their needs all stood in the way of their attaining a fully equal education. (KH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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