ERIC Number: ED414113
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Ethnic and Racial Relations in the Schools. ERIC Digest.
Many patterns of racial and ethnic group relations in our schools are based on how members of a given group have been included or excluded in U.S. society. Understanding such patterns requires consideration of slavery, the discrimination faced by Southern European immigrants, the conquests of American Indians and Mexicans, the relocations of Japanese citizens during WWII, and the experiences of Cuban and Vietnamese refugees and other recent immigrants. Conflicts also exist within ethnic groups. Schools have historically helped include newcomers in American society and continue to do so. However, concerns about intergroup relations in schools have typically focused on improving relations between Whites and African Americans. Today, racial and ethnic relations are more complicated. In school, social bias and fear of "acting White" can detract from the academic achievement of minority group students. Students in multiethnic schools tend to resegregate themselves, and group segregation and stereotyping may be encouraged by certain school policies. Intergroup conflicts may be related to ethnic or racial identity, group unity, or increased peer status for group leaders. School interventions to reduce prejudice and discrimination include educational approaches that teach about group similarities and differences, draw attention to the processes of discrimination, and promote team building; a vicarious experience approach using books and films that emphasizes the commonalities of all groups; and intergroup contacts during cooperative joint activities. Structural changes include systematic integration, small class size, and use of cooperative learning techniques. (Contains 13 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Conflict Resolution, Consciousness Raising, Educational Environment, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Bias, Ethnic Relations, Intergroup Relations, Minority Groups, Racial Bias, Racial Relations, Social Cognition, Student Attitudes
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.