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Title:Bilingual Education in Palmetto City: A Case Study (Florida)
Author(s):Hargrove, Jesse James
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:Most bilingual education programs to date have been carried out and evaluated with little awareness of the possible effects of contextual factors on their operation and outcomes. The present study was undertaken to gain some insight into how the relationship between school and community might potentially influence a bilingual program. An ethnographic case study approach was chosen as the appropriate methodology.
The site selected for study was Palmetto City (pseudonym), a rapidly-growing unincorporated working-class suburban community of Anglos, Blacks, and Latins in Dolphin County (pseudonym), located in a southeastern state. Palmetto City has approximately 61,000 residents, and over 14,000 students attend the fourteen public schools in the area, which are part of the Dolphin County Public School system (DCPS). Fieldwork was carried out over a total of twelve weeks in 1980-81 and 1981-82, focusing on five schools (one elementary, two junior highs, and two senior highs) in Palmetto City.
It was found that community involvement in the schools in Palmetto City reached a peak in 1975-77, and is now at a low ebb, although there are sporadic efforts by the schools to revive it. The decline in school involvement parallels and undoubtedly reflects the precipitous collapse of community organizations in Palmetto City after 1977, when the opening of a new high school changed attendance patterns, and large numbers of Anglos left the community and were replaced by Black and Latin out-migrants from the inner city.
Most bilingual program content and structure in Palmetto City schools is controlled at the district level, but building administrators and staff have considerable effect on how the objectives and design of the program are realized at the individual school level. In general, there appears to be little relation between the district ideal and the classroom reality. While some community input to educational decision-making occurs at the county level, at the school level--at least in Palmetto City--the community essentially now exercises no effect on the bilingual program.
Additional research in the area is needed to understand why community involvement declined after 1977, and to determine whether present trends will bring about greater involvement in the future.
Issue Date:1983
Description:255 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8324569
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983

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