Community conflict : a case study of the implementation of a bilingual education program Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h415pd022

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  • This research project is an historical case study of the conflict which evolved from the deliberations and subsequent implementation of bilingual education in Central School District 13J, Independence, Oregon. The time period under consideration spans 35 months, beginning in August 1974, when district officials first proposed bilingual education, and ending in June 1977, when the first year of bilingual education in the district was completed. Investigation of the conflict in Independence was guided by the following questions. 1. What is the nature of the conflict resulting from the bilingual education issue in Independence, Oregon? 2. To what extent does this conflict affect educational policy? 3. What is the nature of community influence regarding school decisions and educational policy? The investigation of these questions required that two types of data be gathered. The first type--news media reporting, county and school district surveys, personal correspondence, government records--provided an historical perspective for considering the district's decision to implement bilingual education. The second type of data--personal interviews and informal conversations--addressed the need for bilingual education in Independence, the policy making process, and community involvement in decision-making. Conclusions: The conflict which surfaced in the small community of Independence is rooted in the value conflict--assimilation vs. cultural pluralism. Two conflicting views have emerged in Independence regarding the role of public education as a transmitter of culture. One perspective endorses pluralism in society and encourages bilingual education as one means of accommodating pluralism. An opposing viewpoint supports traditional educational practices which support the assimilation of ethnic and racial minorities through the promotion of a single language and culture. The question of whether public education is responsible for promoting cultural homogeneity or the lesser accepted concept of cultural pluralism still remains unresolved in Independence as in other parts of the nation. Supporters for each viewpoint seem unwilling to compromise, thus prolonging the value conflict in the community. The value conflict existing in Independence has not been recognized as such by the community. Rather, this conflict is being viewed as mere misunderstandings due to poor communications between supporters of pluralism and defenders of assimilation. By refusing to recognize the existence of value conflict, the school district, Chicano parents, and the community at large have avoided any real confrontation with the status quo regarding bilingual education. Because the value conflict which presently exists within the Independence community is not acknowledged, it can have no effect on educational policy per se. Throughout its existence, the bilingual education program has not prompted community activism either for or against the program. The sporadic and limited nature of community participation and influence in decision-making has not changed because of bilingual education, and it appears that maintaining the status quo regarding bilingual education in School District 13J has become preferable to seeking change through district policy.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-10-08T16:29:09Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 GuzmanJuan1978.pdf: 1704249 bytes, checksum: 74c8dba291a9f07a6adcc6d9c3d9bda3 (MD5)
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