Date of Award

Spring 1995

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Robert B. Ribble

Second Advisor

Not Legible

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Abstract

Given the importance of educational programming in meeting the needs of American citizens, the implementation of programming is seen as political and is prone to constant change. Bilingual education is particularly precarious since it principally affects minority groups who have been subjected to historical prejudice. Continuation of bilingual education requires advocacy and support from educators across the country. This study seeks to acquire both monolingual educators’ and bilingual educators’ perceptions, within the Syracuse City School District, of bilingualism and bilingual education and how their views may influence bilingual education programming in the city of Syracuse and perhaps nationwide. A brief survey was created and distributed to Syracuse City School District monolingual and bilingual elementary educators to gain insights on their teaching beliefs. Overall, it was found that the surveyed educators were more willing to advocate for more bilingual programs with an English as a Second Language (ESL) component than educators from the country at-large. However, a majority of the monolingual educators felt that ESL instruction was more effective than bilingual instruction and would therefore not advocate for more bilingual programs without it. The majority of advocacy for bilingual programming is carried out by bilingual educators, with the majority of monolingual educators doing nothing for or against bilingual programming. The author recommends that bilingual advocates clearly explain to monolingual educators the purposes and goals of bilingual education. This would help give monolingual educators a greater vested interest in spreading and preserving bilingualism.

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