A study of factors which affect the decision-making process in bilingual/bicultural education: a proposed theoretical framework



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Purpose of the study. The purpose of this study was (1) to define those constructs from the body of literature on curriculum which guide the curriculum development process, (2) to define those factors in bilingual education which affect the decision-making process, (3) to define those factors with regard to the languages in the program which also affect the decision-making process, and (4) to suggest a theoretical framework for the development of bilingual programs at the local level which accommodate the above factors. Scope of the study. The major focus of this study was on the development of a theoretical framework for bilingual programs from a curriculum development perspective at the local school district level. Although the planning, management, and evaluation phases as indiscreet tasks are considered crucial to the eventual success of the curriculum development precess, these activities were not within the scope of this study. As such, they were touched upon in a peripheral manner and only within the context of the development task. The referents for this study were limited to the Mexican American learner participating in bilingual education programs and therefore to Spanish and English as the languages in the program. Proposed framework. The philosophical considerations in curriculum development within the context of bilingual education assume a primary role. The overriding factors which affect the nature and scope of bilingual programs can be summarized as being the learner, society, knowledge, and driving and restraining forces. A universe of values can be said to determine the relative weight of importance placed upon each of the foregoing factors. Consequently, a philosophy of education as dependent variable (P) will reflect the value placed on the independent variables, i.e., the learner (V), the society (W), knowledge (X), and driving (Y) and restraining (Z) forces. The coefficients 'a,' 'b,' 'c,' 'd,' and 'e' represent the relative value placed on each independent variable. [...]