Clearinghouse Resource

Title

Improving Ethnic and Racial Relations in the Schools

Authors/Editors

Romo, Harriett

Publisher(s)

Charleston, WV: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

ERIC Digest October 1997, 4 pages

Description of Resource

Many patterns of racial and ethnic group relations in our schools are based on how members of a given group have been included or excluded in U.S. society. Understanding such patterns requires consideration of slavery, the discrimination faced by Southern European immigrants, the conquests of American Indians and Mexicans, the relocations of Japanese citizens during WWII, and the experiences of Cuban and Vietnamese refugees and other recent immigrants. Conflicts also exist within ethnic groups. Schools have historically helped include newcomers in American society and continue to do so. However, concerns about intergroup relations in schools have typically focused on improving relations between Whites and African Americans. Today, racial and ethnic relations are more complicated. In school, social bias and fear of "acting White" can detract from the academic achievement of minority group students. Students in multiethnic schools tend to resegregate themselves, and group segregation and stereotyping may be encouraged by certain school policies. Intergroup conflicts may be related to ethnic or racial identity, group unity, or increased peer status for group leaders. School interventions to reduce prejudice and discrimination include educational approaches that teach about group similarities and differences, draw attention to the processes of discrimination, and promote team building; a vicarious experience approach using books and films that emphasizes the commonalities of all groups; and intergroup contacts during cooperative joint activities. Structural changes include systematic integration, small class size, and use of cooperative learning techniques. (Contains 13 references.) (SV) ERIC (Order No. ED414113)

Languages

English

Availability

http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/improvingethnicrelations.pdf