An assessment of perceptions of urban parents and school personnel toward bilingual bicultural education



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Purpose The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between and among the perceptions of parents, teachers, principals, and bilingual administrators toward three aspects of bilingual education: language, culture, and instruction. Procedures A survey instrument consisting of forty-two items was administered to thirty-five parents, one hundred thirty-one teachers, thirty-seven principals, and twenty-three bilingual administrators in two urban settings to assess their perceptions toward linguistic, cultural, and instructional aspects of bilingual education. It was hypothesized, in null form, that persons involved in bilingual bicultural education programs would have perceptions which were congruent in relation to each of these aspects. Information was gathered and analyzed to determine the congruence or distance of incongruence of these perceptions by specific populations. Analysis of variance and discriminant function analysis were used to determine the presence of differences which were statistically significant at the . 05 level of confidence. Findings Statistically significant differences were found in the perceptions of parents and school personnel in regard to bilingual education. Relative to the three areas examined--language, culture, and instruction--statistically significant differences existed between the groups' perceptions toward instruction, but no statistically significant perceptual differences were indicated toward culture and language. Significant differences were also found when perceptions of culture and instruction were compared by ethnicity. When responses to selected pluralist and assimilationist items in the survey instrument were examined, the populations tended toward the pluralistic viewpoint. Recommendations The findings of this study suggest the following recommendations: 1. Communication channels should be established or redesigned in ways which insure greater understanding and congruence of perceptions regarding bilingual bicultural education. 2. Because parents showed the greatest distance of incongruence in regard to instruction, it is essential that they become a part of the total instructional process. 3. Teachers showed greater variation of perceptions than any other group in all three areas of bilingual bicultural education, and this finding indicates the need for a program which provides consistent philosophical and pedagogical approaches.