ERIC Number: ED373856
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Into the Institution's Soul: Individualization and Diversity--Antecedents to Institutional Effectiveness.
Burley, Hansel E.
If an institution's goal is cultural diversity, the institutional response must go beyond a core curriculum that transmits culture or a multicultural curriculum which transforms culture, and embrace a curriculum which enhances individual differences. The core curriculum has an unabashed European cultural bias and requires assimilation to the majority culture. Its power to boost minority students' academic performance is limited since it does not consider the nature of minority students' cultural diversity. The multicultural approach attempts to provide a culturally affirming environment and transform the national culture by reconceptualizing other cultures. The result, however, is either cultural tokenism or an emphasis on multicultural courses and events that have little bearing on minority student skill attainment and academic success. To truly embrace diversity, an institution must first embrace individual differences and diversify the environment by over-representing the currently under-represented groups in the student body and teaching corps. By affirming individual differences, individuals from minority groups can experience an affirmed self-identity which can overcome negative expectations caused by the dominant culture. Institutions which show high minority success rates, such as West Point where 68% of black cadets and 66% of white cadets finish their baccalaureate degree in four years, do not necessarily affirm any cultural or multicultural identity, but do affirm the individual student's self-identity. Contains 10 references. (KP)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Community Colleges, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Cultural Maintenance, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Faculty Recruitment, Minority Group Influences, Minority Groups, School Effectiveness, School Holding Power, Student Recruitment, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (34th, New Orleans, LA, May 29-June 2, 1994).