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Title:Bridging cultures in our schools: New approaches that work
Author:Trumbull, E., Rothstein-Fisch, C., & Greenfield, P. M.
Resource Type:Report

15 pages
ERIC #:ED440954 (click to view this publication's record on the ERIC Web site)
Full text:
Education Level:Elementary
Literature type:Practice

A framework is provided in this study that juxtaposes two value systems: individualism and collectivism, which differ in their relative emphasis on fostering independence and success of the individual versus interdependence and success of the group (Greenfield, 1994). This framework is intended as a tool to help educators think about where differences may lie, and for heading off potential conflict. The frameworkÕs power lies in the way Òit generates insights and understandings that enable teachers to bridge cultural differences.Ó It can also be the basis for taking action that promotes harmony, because it recognizes both belief systems. As soon as the cultural source of the conflict is understood solutions to problems suggest themselves. The authorsÕ conclude that when teachers better understand parentsÕ way of thinking and the norms in childrenÕs homes, they can find ways to make classrooms more hospitable for students and their families. Having a committed peer group with whom to share ideas helps enormously. By reading this document, teachers will see Òpossibilities for thoughtful innovations in their classrooms and start to share them with colleagues in their own schools.Ó Although this is not a research study, it does provide some anecdotal information about seven classrooms in Southern California where this theory was applied.

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