ERIC Number: ED402381
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-May
Increasing Cultural Understanding between Mexican-Americans and Whites in a Multiethnic School.
Berg-Tilton, Mariann; And Others
A program was developed to create a positive school climate in a multiethnic school to reduce conflict among students. The targeted population consisted of students in kindergarten through grade six in a school in a low socioeconomic environment in a rural community in northern Illinois. The majority of the school's 309 students were White, but 29.4% were Mexican American, 0.6% were Asian, and 0.3% were African American. Problems of poor peer interaction and negative school climate were documented through a study of discipline referrals, parent, teacher, and student surveys, and teacher checklists. Review of this data about probable causes indicated that students have inadequately developed social skills, and that the amount of parental involvement, the socioeconomic status of the population, and the number of troubled families might be contributing to the problem. An underlying factor might have been the response of the school to the demographic changes that have resulted in a culturally diverse population in the area. Intervention was planned to create a positive social environment through community service projects, implement a program of social skills development through cooperative learning, and create a schoolwide program to increase unity, improve student relations, and raise multicultural awareness. After the interventions, students showed improved behavior, and appeared to have gained cultural awareness and an understanding of other ethnic traditions and values. The intervention appears to have improved the school's negative climate. Thirty-two appendixes contain the study instruments and research tools. (Contains 4 tables, 25 figures, and 41 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Conflict Resolution, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Educational Environment, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Ethnic Groups, Hispanic American Students, Mexican Americans, Multicultural Education, Parent Participation, Program Implementation, Rural Schools, Socioeconomic Influences, White Students
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master's of Arts in Teaching and Leadership.