ERIC Number: ED271954
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
The Referral of Hispanic Children to Special Education: A Comparison of Acculturation and Education Characteristics of Referred and Nonreferred Culturally and Linguistically Different Children.
A study of the characteristics of Hispanic elementary school children in bilingual education programs attempted to identify those education and acculturation characteristics which distinguished children who had been referred to special education from nonreferred children. The sample consisted of 95 Hispanic children, of whom 51 had never been referred and 44 had been referred to special education. Of those referred, only 17 had been placed in special education programs. Contrary to expectations, the results indicated no significant differences between groups for any educational characteristic except degree of teacher concern, but achievement was found to be related to years of bilingual instruction, language proficiency, minority enrollment, and overall acculturation level. In addition, there was a meaningful effect size between the achievement of non-referred and that of placed children. Placed children tended to be the most acculturated and more often came from schools with low minority enrollment. Those referred but not placed were the least acculturated and had the lowest achievement in all content areas. The findings imply that culturally and linguistically different children are disproportionately referred for special education, possibly as a function of minority enrollment and availability of alternative programs, and that the psychodynamics of acculturation must be considered in the identification and instruction of culturally and linguistically different children with special needs. (Author/MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Acculturation, Bilingual Education Programs, Cultural Differences, Educational Background, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Hispanic Americans, Language Proficiency, Minority Groups, Referral, Special Education, Student Characteristics, Student Placement
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Bilingual Education (Chicago, IL, April 1-5, 1986).