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ERIC Number: ED356121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 70
Abstractor: N/A
Culture and Literacy. Part 1: A Historic Overview. Part 2: The Needs of a Pluralistic Society. Part 3: Student Perceptions.
Masters, Billie Nave
This three-part series of articles discusses restructuring U.S. public education to meet the needs of culturally diverse student populations. Part 1 presents a historic overview of the philosophies and attitudes underlying delivery of U.S. public education. The American school system is slow to change and, for the benefit of the industrialized labor market, continues to assess and classify each student as a "product." A useful step toward restructuring education would be to redefine the student as "consumer" and to see dropout and literacy rates as indicators of consumer perceptions of the worth of education. Part 2, on the needs of a pluralistic society, discusses cultural diversity in America, tribal bonding in ethnic communities and groups of schoolchildren, and the prevention of gang formation through student participation in acceptable group activities. Part 3, "Student Perceptions," proposes a model of how students evaluate the personal worth of their education. Based on Piaget's social reciprocity theory, this model emphasizes that student perceptions of education are influenced by emotional responses to their educational environment and to their teachers. Negative emotional responses arising from classroom culture conflict lead to negative educational attitudes and lower success rates among minority students. A survey of 320 White, Hispanic, and American Indian students in Grades 8 and 11 found that self-ratings of intelligence and academic ability were low among ethnic minorities, inner-city and reservation youth, and those having a primary language other than English. American Indians generally had the poorest self-ratings. Suggestions are offered for overall restructuring of public school education. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A