ERIC Number: ED481651
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2004
Breaking Through in Migrant Education.
When the "theory of incompatibilities" was first elaborated more than 30 years ago, it identified five characteristics that schools needed to address to improve migrant education, but it failed to recognize the moral and cognitive strengths elicited in many youth by the harsh migrant experience. The theory posited five interdependent characteristics that impact migrant education--poverty, culture, language, mobility, and societal perceptions--and suggested that education processes should be made compatible with the characteristics of the population rather than requiring the population to adapt to the school. A curriculum of identification, affirmation, and validation draws on students' cultural background and experiences, acknowledges their value, and provides a bridge between home and school. Among the theory's five characteristics, the one most vital to a breakthrough in migrant education is societal perceptions, which explains how schools and migrant families view each other and how this interactive relationship affects the success of migrant children. The future paradigm for migrant education must be needs-responsive but must also focus aggressively on the assets of migrant children, families, and communities. The experiences of migrant families teach their children valuable lessons about family, work, and faith. Focusing on these areas can help migrant children break through and succeed in school. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Chapter 17 in: Scholars in the Field: The Challenges of Migrant Education; see RC 024 211.