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ERIC Number: EJ775212
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 68
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1047-8248
Linguistic Human Rights: A New Perspective on Bilingual Education
Rojas, Eliana D.; Reagan, Timothy
Educational Foundations, v17 n1 p5-19 Win 2003
Bilingual education has been an extremely controversial and contentious topic in recent years among both educators and the general public in the United States. Long a bastion of what some writers have called "ideological monolingualism," the United States has not demonstrated either great sensitivity to or tolerance of linguistic diversity historically. In this article, the authors discuss the case for bilingual education programs, though, from a somewhat different perspective from that generally offered by supporters and advocates of bilingual schooling in the United States. Most of the arguments in favor of bilingual education are grounded in defenses of the "effectiveness" of bilingual education programs--that is, in arguing that bilingual education is a good thing because it works. Although they believe this to be true, and briefly review the arguments and evidence for this claim, what they suggest here is that there is a far more powerful, and relevant, argument for bilingual education programs. Arguments of the sort generally offered presuppose that what is at stake is ultimately a matter of pedagogical effectiveness--what works best for the children involved. There are, though, constraints on effectiveness as a criterion for educational practice. Not everything that "works" is acceptable; no matter how effective it might be to use electrical shocks to increase student motivation to learn, for instance, no reasonably sane educator or policymaker is likely to advocate it. Similarly, there are certain fundamental rights (including linguistic human rights) that must be observed in the educational process. It is in this sphere, they argue, rather than in the sphere of pedagogical effectiveness alone, that the real case for bilingual education needs to be made. There are, they believe, some common, core assumptions shared by virtually all educators, policy-makers, and indeed, by most individuals in the general public that relate to the issues that they address in this article.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States