Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My communities paper so far

Here are the answers to those questions that you posted about our community controversies. I have already found about 15 sources on my subject but have only done the annotated bibliography for about 6, and even on those the summaries are not complete and I put the page numbers up for my benefit when I have to look back at the information, it is more just notes to help me but I wanted to send it to you, I am also going to post it on my blog.

You are trying to develop a thorough understanding of YOUR CHOSEN COMMUNITY.Use your research to help you answer the following questions.

1. Community – Education community

2. My role – other than being a student for 15 years, I play a role because I want to become a teacher when I graduate from college and currently observe at the local elementary school.

3. Geography – I will be focusing on the bilingual education of Latino Americans in the United States

4. Age – I’m not sure but I would assume that the children covered would be from 5-21 because that is who is covered under IDEA for special education services.

5. Interests – Bilingual education aims to use the student’s dominant language along with English so that they will eventually be fluent in both. However, oftentimes once a child prospers in English they will mainstream them which leave the students with a lack in their native languages.

6. Ethnicity – I will be focusing on Latino Americans but bilingual education effects many different races and has since immigration began in the 1600’s

7. How did it come into being? – The history of Hispanic Americans and other immigrants having difficulties learning in school and being rejected their native language and taught only in English has been occurring since the beginning of the education system itself. Bilingual education existed in the United States since the 1600’s when German speaking Americans opened schools providing instruction in German and English. The constitution itself believed that democracy should leave language choices to the individual. There was a rebirth of bilingual education in the early 1960’s as the first Cuban immigrants arrived in Miami, and Miami schools provided bilingual education. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 decided that placing language-minority students in “sink or swim” classrooms violated the students’ equal rights. Other laws have come in effect but the battle still continues.

8. How did you gain membership to this community? Can anyone join? – I gained membership through being a student as I said and through the fact that I am in schooling to become a teacher. Anyone can be a part of the group including students, teachers, parents, and even involved members of the community.

9. What characteristics of patterns of sameness characterize community members? – I think everyone in the community has a love for children and wants to see every one of them succeed. Of course there are going to be different view points on many aspects of the education system which is why there are so many controversies present.

10. What tensions/controversies/ areas of disagreement exist within the community? How are these represented to the public or outsiders? – There are many controversies that exist in the education community including issues with funding and the NCLB Act, issues of inclusion and what is the best way to carry out the special education program, as well as with bilingualism which I will be focusing on. Many students, especially those who are Hispanic Americans, are being lost between learning English and learning Spanish. Parents of these children are taking the issue as a violation of their children’s equal rights, a similar debate as the African Americans had in the civil rights movement when they wanted the schools to become desegregated. On the other hand, there is a group of people who feel that bilingual education is taking away from the common language of America, English, and think these children should be mainstreamed so that they can become a part of their new culture. This is represented to the public and outsiders quite frequently but only if they are actually looking for the information. It is a subject that many books and articles have written about and is discussed frequently among parents and anyone who feels as though it is an important subject in the education system.

11. How might definitions of this community differ if they were told by insiders and outsiders respectively? – I think that the definition of the education community when told by an insider would be much more in depth, and raise more issues than if told by an outsider. An outsider might say that it is everything to do with schools or that it is how we become education, but an insider would be more focused on the making the students reach their highest potential and that everyone has an equal chance at doing so. The bilingual debate to an insider is probably a very controversial subject and would come with heated debate whereas to an outsider would be something probably passed over or their decision would be based on a quick feeling without any real basis for it. ‘

Annotated Bibliography
(Not yet completed)

1. Bierlein, Louann A. Controversial Issues in Education Policy. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications,1993. (Pgs 127-134)

This book tells when bilingual education was a debate in Congress. It gives a definition as well as a brief overview on submersion and how it violates the law. It tells how bilingual education is sometimes viewed as a handicapped and students are misplaced into special classes that they do not need. It explains how the educators themselves are becoming frustrated. It gives a history of bilingual education including it’s rebirth. It incorporates acts like the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Opportunities Act. Lastly, it discusses the English only movement that is wanted by those who are against the parents who want to keep their children fluent in both languages.

2. Ferdman, Bernardo M. Literacy Across Languages and Cultures. Albany, NY: University of New York Press, 1994. (Pgs 7, 18, 123, 174, 318, 326)

Talks about how bilingual education is controversial, especially in those cases where programs incorporate maintenance of the native language while teaching English. It says that it is “mistakenly thought to be ineffective” therefore showing that it is for the debate on bilingual education. It talks about how research on the gap has addressed the question of bilingual education and different programs that it has put into effect to help change it. It also tells of accounts such as Moll & Diez who found strong reading skills in Spanish could be drawn on to improve reading in English by fourth grade. They say that the later the child starts the second language the better they should adjust and the faster they catch up because they “have more knowledge to serve as context and more skills to transfer”. There are accounts of actual bilingual classrooms and a section on the opposition of bilingual education as shown in the media as well as businesses and educational communities.

3. Friend, Marilyn. Special Education: Contemporary Perspectives for School Professionals. Boston: Pearson Education Inc., 2006. (Pg 106)

This is a textbook that gives a definition of bilingual education as well as different approaches on how it is incorporated into the classroom. It discusses English as a second language and sheltered English as well as English language learners with disabilities.

4. Hasci, Timothy A. Children as Pawns. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2002. (Pgs 62-70, 72-73, 77, 80)

This book talks about whether or not bilingual education is a good idea and whether it actually works. It gives the basic outline of what bilingual education is and tells that most students are taught most of their subjects at least partly in Spanish and they take ESL classes. It speaks of the bilingual debate reffered to as the Tower of Babel which is an interesting relation. People on both sides feel so strongly about a certain side that they do not even listen to what others have to say, which is one of the main reasons as to why the issue has yet to be resolved. It tells how it is the central issue for Latino rights and tells how it is fully as important to them as integration was for African Americans and why they feel that way. It talks about submersion programs and how they are the most common form of bilingual education but they are not good at all. It also shows how this situation relates back to the Native Americans. An interesting fact is that it tells how states made it a criminal act for teachers to speak spanish to their students many years back and gives the roots of bilingual education as well. It gives a specific case in New Mexico of submersion and how it became against the law. There are recollections of adults giving past accounts of their school days in bilingual education. Eligibility and statistics are also given.

5. Miramontes, Ofelia B. Restructuring Schools for Linguistic Diversity. New York: Teacher’s College Press, 1997. (Pgs. 8, 11, 14-35, 58-59, 78-79, 104-105, 124-125, 139-141, 241-246 )

It gives the advocacy of and assumptions about bilingual education. It also tells of the Concept Development Stategy on how to make the system more effective. It tells of how English is overemphasized and gives a specific case study as well as different model programs. Lastly, it tells about those bilingual students who also have special needs.

6. Porter, Rosalie P. Forked Tongue. New York: Basic Book Inc, 1990. (The entire book)

This includes an intro to the bilingual controversy, first hand experiences in education language minorities and a history or bilingual education. It also provides was to make decisions in the future.


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