Creative Writing Education Culture And Community

Some of the least direct and least explicit functions of the school become apparent when it is viewed in the context of cultural minority education.The traditional intellectual and social functions indicated above are then confounded by the additional and seemingly invidious factors associated with cultural differences, such as conflicting values, varied learning styles, diverse behavior patterns, non-conforming social allegiances, and alternative perceptions of reality.A common thread throughout most formal education programs for minority people has been the relative absence of either of these conditions.

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One such alternative goal that has received widespread attention is that of cultural pluralism.

Cultural Pluralism: Whereas assimilation stresses the ways of the dominant society, cultural pluralism is intended to stress the ways of the minority society.

Cultural assimilation: Though it is rarely made explicit, and is often unintended, one of the most distinguishing features of schools in cultural minority settings is their overwhelming press toward assimilation into mainstream cultural patterns.

Whether intentional or not, the basic thrust of schooling is toward the breaking down of particularistic orientations and developing in their place, a universalistic orientation.

Cultural pluralism is advocated as an educational goal by those who seek a pluralistic, multi-cultural society in which each ethnic, racial or religious group contributes to the larger society within the context of its own unique cultural traditions (cf., Banks, 1976).

The school's task, therefore, is to recognize the minority culture and to assist the student to function more effectively within that culture.We will examine some alternative goals and content for education as they relate to those processes first, and then turn to the structure and method through which they may be attained.In each dimension we will work toward a cross-cultural approach in the development of educational programs and practices for cultural minorities. One of the most difficult, yet most important tasks in the design of any educational program is to make explicit the goals toward which the program is directed.Consequently, the requisite skills are not learned, status differentials are reinforced, and access to societal resources is further impeded, thus thwarting the minority students' aspirations.The school cannot contribute effectively to the assimilation process without careful attention to the unique cultural conditions out of which the minority student emerges.If assimilation is desired and is to be achieved in full by a cultural minority, it must be supported by social, political and economic forces beyond those available through the school.Though the school may serve a useful, and even necessary function in the assimilation process, it cannot accomplish the task alone (cf., St. If cultural assimilation is not desired, alternative goals must be adequately articulated so as to be able to assess the extent to which schools may or may not be able to contribute to their attainment.Any approach to educational development is a multi-faceted affair, with many dimensions on which decisions must be made, and numerous alternatives from which to choose on each dimension.Of primary importance, however, is that the alternatives selected be commonly understood and agreed upon, and that they reflect consistency from one dimension to the next.That is, each dimension must be mutually reinforcing of each of the other dimensions if the total educational experience is to be cumulative and integrative for the student.To achieve such interrelatedness requires close attention to underlying processes of education, such as communication, cognition, and social interaction.


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