American Conversations (Puerto Rican Studies) by Ellen Bigler

By Ellen Bigler

Bigler examines one city's heated dispute that arose over bringing multiculturalism and bilingual schooling into their lives and their faculties' curricula, illuminating the character of racial politics within the usa and the way either side within the debate over multicultural schooling fight to discover universal language. within the PUERTO RICAN reports sequence.

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Arnhem's story may be uniquely its own, but Arnhem is in many respects a microcosm of the larger society, and to listen in on Arnhemites "talking 'American'" can illuminate both the challenges and the possibilities that exist for social change. Page 20 1 The Making of Arnhem the "Friendly City" It was the best of timesperiod.  .  .  .  . Everybody was equal.  " With the war came the changes. Stan's voice changed when he talked about the war.  .  " The big difference today is [our] kids are all moving away.

Schools are now legally required to provide all students with assistance learning English, if needed. Such changes are a legacy of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, which marked a turning point in our nation's history. People of color and women successfully raised public levels of awareness of racism and sexism in educational institutions and the media. African Americans first, then Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, and women attacked the structures of inequality that limited their opportunities for upward mobility.

In the process, all students become more aware of both injustice and its roots and their potential as citizens in a democracy to effect change. Multicultural education reform challenges not only the curriculum but also classroom pedagogy and school practices. "Culturally responsive pedagogy" requires sensitivity to the differing linguistic and cultural resources and identities of students. Significantly, social, political, and cultural issues beyond the classroom doors can enter into the educational process, whether in the dialect a student brings to class, divergent communication patterns of home and school, or students' perceptions of the likelihood of education enhancing opportunities for upward mobility.

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