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Comparative Analysis of the

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					Understanding Culture and Youth within
Educational Institutions: Beyond Cultural
Definitions to Cultural Change Contexts

                  Martha Montero-Sieburth, Ed. D.
                           Research Fellow
             Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies
                      University of Amsterdam
                         m.montero@uva.nl


         European Conference on Educational Research
A Global Society: Implications for Education and Educational
                            Research
Invited Symposium - in cooperation with WERA, World Education
                     Research Association
               Helsinki, Finland, August 26, 2010
      Intent of Presentation
Intent is to discuss the role of culture as it
relates to youth within educational
institutions and what this means in terms of
changes taking place in different contexts
 – Tendency to overemphasize formal
   schooling over the significance of
   informal learning which takes place in
   community settings and among peers
 – “Essentializing” of the concept of culture
   rather than “contextualizing” concept
                   Intent
Discuss ways in which cultural change has been
thought of in the education of immigrant children
to explain their academic achievement in schools
and how such achievement and culture relates to
their ethnic or indigenous group
 1. Based on a review of secondary literature
    research
 2. Own research in the analysis of explanatory
    models used for the academic achievement
    of Latinos in the U. S., which has been
    researched extensively for close to 80 years
 3. Research conducted in Latin American
    classrooms where the indigenous is
    compared to the normative schooling culture
                   Intent
Identify the explanations currently being
used in Europe for academic achievement
which focus on:
– Culture versus structure in the social mobility
  and school attainment of immigrants
– Structural analysis of second generation
  research
    Using own ethnographic research of Dutch second
    generation high school youth of Turkish descent in
    the Netherlands undertaken over a 3 year period.
    Using research of Latin American immigrants in
    the Canary Islands, Spain where intercultural
    education is used as a mediating variable
                   Intent
Conclude by identifying implications of
such explanatory models for youth within
educational institutions
– In terms of local cultures and identities
    Ignoring of youth
    Suppression of youth
– Need to examine the reinvention and
  extension taking place for youth through the
  creation of multiple identities in their
  negotiation of cultural change contexts
     Reviews of Secondary Literature
Initial Review:
  – Montero-Sieburth, M. and M. C. Batt (2001). An Overview of the Educational Models
      used to Explain the Academic Achievement of Latino Students: Implications for
      Research and Policies into the New Millennium. In Robert Slavin and Margarita
      Calderón (Eds.). Effective Programs for Latino Students. Mahwah, N. J. Lawrence
      Erlbaum Associates, pp. 331-368.
Second Review focused on Reform Efforts:
  – Montero-Sieburth, M. (2005). Explanatory Models of Latino/a Education During the
      Reform Movement of the 1980s. In Pedro Pedraza and Melissa Rivera (Eds.).
      Latino Education: An Agenda for Community Action Research, Mahwah, New
      Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 99-153.
Third review was on an overview of Latino academic achievement explanations and a
critique of these:
  – Montero-Sieburth, M. (2007). Academic Models: Explaining Achievement. In
      Lourdes Díaz Soto (Ed.). Praeger Handbook of Latino Education in the United States,
      Vol. 1, Praeger Publishers, pp. 8-23.
Present review of research of a comparative nature of explanatory models used n the U.
S. and Europe, particularly the Netherlands and Spain.
Educational Explanatory Models
Explanations based on social science research
which has been conducted to identify and find
solutions to deal with the attendant problem of
why some students fail while others succeed in
schools.
Educational institutions are held to be the
producers of opportunities for success, yet their
underlying assumptions have implicit meanings:
– About what success is and who decides what it
  should look like.
– About how such success is tied to culture, with the
  notion of what culture and whose culture?
Educational Explanatory Models
 Such assumptions operate from the
 stance of normative cultures
 (dominant/subordinate, majority/minority):
 – In U. S., explanations abound about:
      Why Latino students fail in comparison to
      their White European counterparts or in
      relation to other ethnic groups
      – Failure is a code word and antithesis of
        success.
      – Academic achievement in attaining specific
        scores in testing and completion of grades.
         Explanatory Models
– In the case of youth in Latin America,
  comparisons are often made in terms of social
  class differences:
     – Indigenous youth from rural areas are compared to those in
       urbanized centers thus failure refers to not measuring up to
       urban, “civilized” status
     – Indigenous youth from low socio economic class are often
       differentiated from middle class through schooling
     – Indigenous youth are compared on the basis of their social
       capital, while they often experience discrimination in
       schooling
    A culture of exclusion rather than inclusion prevails.
              Research Focus
Research focus for explanations about achievement
arise from cross group and within group comparisons:
– Analysis of Latinos vis a vis White European counterparts
– Latinos in relation to African Americans, Asians, Native
  Americans
– Indigenous youth compared to middle class youth in Mexico,
  Guatemala, etc.
– Latin American immigrant youth compared to native Spaniards
  and other immigrants
Such studies tend to be large scale and longitudinal
They also tend to generalize disavowing for unique
characteristics that are prevalent, differences from urban
marginal experiences, gender, education of parents, etc.
          Culture Concept
Culture is often defined in terms of the normative
culture’s value of wealth, knowledge, cultural
and social capital.
Eric Wolf points out that the culture concept is a
product of the age of nationalism.
Thus cultural incorporation is about becoming
like the majority culture/society and in some
countries is about:
 – Assimilation
 – Integration
Power of Explanatory Models of
   Academic Achievement
Such explanations take on not only epistemological
power, of being “truths” identified by social scientists,
educators, policy makers
Assume the power of paradigms that represent:
 – Eurocentric perspectives
     a) Native Dutch interests over non-natives
     (allochtone versus autoctone)
     b) Majority Spanish cultural norms over foreigners
 – Majority Culture power dynamics based on:
     c) Social Class differences as seen throughout
     Latin America
     d) Dominant WASP culture in relation to
     newcomers and immigrants
            Culture Concept
Hans Vermeulen (2000) alludes to the ways of speaking
about culture as “culturalistic” and uses the idea of
culturalistic fallacy to refer to:
    “…those ways of speaking and writing about culture
    which depict cultures as sharply bounded,
    homogenous and relatively unchanging entities,
    transmitted on from generation to generation” (p.2).
Culture is often used to explain behavior for which there
is no explanation and alludes this to certain groups.
In research, we refer to this use of culture as
essentializing
 Attributes within Educational Explanatory
                   Models
Measured in the U. S., Latin America, and Europe
by competences achieved in:
    Language Learning:
      – Standard versus non-standard
      – Passing of language examinations that are often part of national
        testing programs
      – Achieving Language communication for the job market
    Adaptation of social and cultural behaviors and attitudes
      – “Un American to speak Spanish in certain contexts”
      – “Enjoying privileges in the Netherlands requires learning the
        Dutch way of life”
      – “If they want to enjoy their livelihoods in Spain, they have to act
        as Spaniards”
      – “Love it or leave it”
    Civic responsibilities
      – Induced by strong coercive policies, “you must be a responsible
        citizen”
      – Characterized by using economic gains for process of
        democratization
Culture Linked to Explanatory Models
Explanatory models are historically and socially embedded and are
linked to the social and cultural integration and normative cultural
reproduction often spurned by policies. In the U. S., identified during
these time periods:
        1920s: Great wave of immigration (melting pot ideology)
        1930s: Nationalistic trends (cultural pluralism)
        1940s: War time
        1950s: Suburban expansion, “white flight”
        1960s: War on Poverty, the Great Society (cultural deprivation)
        1970s: New immigration (cultural differences)
        1980s: Reform waves (NCLB)
        1990s: Neo-liberalistic trends (cultural adaptation to economic
        structures)
        2000s +: Globalization and transnational influences (cultural
        resilience, multiple identities)
Culture Linked to Explanatory Models in
             Latin America
  Historically embedded in pre-Colombian,
  Conquest, and Post-conquest ideologies
  of social, cultural, and racial class
  differences for Latin America
   – Mignolo (2008) attributes much of the post-
     colonialist thought to capitalism and which
     serves to devalue the humanity of competitors
     and those who offer low cost labor.
Culture Linked to Explanatory Models
– He argues that social class differences were set
  up during the colonization process of Latin
  America and persist to the present.

        Christians                    Christians/Spaniards




Moors                Jews

                            Indians       Zambos         Blacks
Analysis of Dutch Explanatory Models
   for Turkish Youth in Schooling
Analysis of secondary data: Research studies conducted
by social scientists in the Netherlands over the past
twenty years on immigrant youth of second generation
and their academic achievement have focused on:
      motivation, attitudes towards learning
      (psychological adaptation)
      ethnic identity, (cultural identity)
      acculturation patterns, (cultural identity)
      engagement and tracking trajectories from
      elementary to secondary and higher education.
Culture has been treated in terms of specific ethnic
groups but also psychological, and adaptation factors
            Dutch Analysis
Growing numbers of qualitative studies in
the Netherlands (Bowen Paulle, Yvonne
Leeman)
Research regarding attitudes of native
Dutch towards Turkish and Moroccan
students
    Meykel Verkuyten (2005) during the past 20 years as well as
    with his colleagues, Peary Brug (2001), Thijs (2001) has
    yielded some understanding of the enormity of this issue.
    They indicate the need to find alternative ways to study
    history, culture, ideology, power and contexts as well as
    discourse analyses and social representation theory.
            Dutch Analysis
Research of the second generation in
Europe and particularly the Netherlands
– One of the most prolific researchers has been
  Maurice Crul and his associates, TIES
  Project, comparative analysis of second
  generation schooling
    Focus has identified: 1) Access to pre-school, 2)
    opportunities for Dutch language development,
    and 3) limited available opportunities for learning
    within schools, especially segregated schools.
            Dutch Analysis
Own research during past three years in a
“zwarte” (Black) high school due to
concentration of Turkish and Moroccan students
but which is an “elite” school because of its high
academic programs and student outcomes in
science and mathematics (ecological programs,
Roboticus, science fairs, math fairs).
Findings: issues of cultural dissonance between
cultures of youth and expected academic
schooling expectations
Dutch Policies towards Educating
 Working Class and “Minorities”
Policies aimed at reducing educational disadvantage of
working class students (Driessen, 2002; Rijkschroeff, R.
G. ten Dam, J. W. Duyvendak, M. De Gruijeter and T.
Pels, 2005).
– 1960s: as part of democratic and tolerance
  process, focus is on working class children
– 1970s: arrival of guest workers and changes in
  reunification laws for families
– 1980s: growth of children of 1.5 or 2nd
  generation in schools, however no official policy
  towards “immigrants” was warranted (Driessen,
  forthcoming). Bilingual and intercultural
  education were promoted.
               Dutch Policies
– 1985: Weight factors applied to ethnic and minority children and
  used by schools to provide homework assistance, reading,
  tutoring, etc.
– 1990s: Focus on minority children and less so on Dutch working
  class, support programs (Driessen, forthcoming).
– 1994: minorities policy replaced by integration policy towards
  “active citizenship” with mandatory laws for newcomers to learn
  Dutch
– 2000s+: Evaluation of effectiveness of disadvantage policies and
  movement towards decentralization, reduction of funding except
  for parental education
– Paul Scheffer’s Multicultural Drama critique
– Aim is towards more restrictive practices including stricter
  separation of church and state and more restrictions on religious
  freedom
           Dutch Policies
– Present: Focus on what Driessen refers to as
  shared citizenship, replacing active
  citizenship, and this requires moving away
  from focus on differences towards focus on
  common core values
– Onus is on the immigrant taking charge of
  integrating.
Shift in responsibility of the state towards
greater decentralization and decision
making at the local level
Closing of multiculturalism as a failed
experiment towards greater accountability
    Comparison of Educational
      Explanatory Models
Analysis of Latinos         Analysis of Dutch-
– Cultural deprivation      Turkish Students
  and culture deficit       – Cultural disadvantage
  explanations              – Compensatory focus
– Cultural differences        in schooling,
– Voluntary versus            remediation
  involuntary immigrants    – Bilingual education
– Bilingual education         (pillarization idea)
  model                     – Intercultural education
– Economic explanatory        in schools
  models (social/cultural   – Additive resources
  capital)
                  Comparisons
Analysis for Latinos      Analysis for Dutch-Turkish
 – Co-Ethnic Peer          – Awareness of Second
   Communities               Generation through
                             dropout analysis
   Explanation
                           – Extensive research on
 – Dual Reference Model      failure of “minorities”
 – Academic “At Risk       – Structural analysis of
   Model”                    how system operates,
                             analysis of tracking,
 – Success Factor            analysis of counselors,
 – Transnational             etc.
   Adaptation              – Models of polarization
                             become evident
 – Comparative Analysis    – Re-ignition of language
   factors (structural,      focus, of bilingual
   institutional, etc.)      education
            Comparisons
Focus on resilience of   – Strong emphasis on
                           language skills,
students                   social participation
                           membership in
Analysis of funds of       associations,
community                  political
                           participation, voting,
knowledge                  cultural participation,
Use of H. Trueba’s         museum visits
theory of mestizaje      – Focus on labor
                           insertion as active
towards multiple           basis of education
identities               – Culture is
                           “minoritized”
          Research in Spain
Research of high schools conducted in situ in the Canary
Islands, Spain show:
 – Although well intended policies abound regarding the
    integration of immigrant children via intercultural
    education, gaps in the professionalization, training,
    and extension of intercultural experiences are evident
       Reception programs appear to work but tend to
       often be the product approach to culture and not
       the process approach
       Onus is on cultural mediator
        Research in Spain
    Targeting of immigrant children as in need of
    change, deflects from the purpose of intercultural
    education to create collective experiences for co-
    existence of all children in Spanish schools.
    Geographic concentration of immigrants tends to
    create so called “ghettos” and an increase in
    “ghetto schools.”
– Intent of intercultural education is lost from its
  dialogical and interactive purpose and its
  internalization of the non-differentiation of
  “foreigners” from Spaniards.
       Implications of Explanatory
                 Models
•   Parallels between explanations about failure “as pathological,
    endemic”
•   Explanations focus heavily on youth and their community including
    parents as in need of being changed and compensated for
     – The U.S.: in terms of ethnic differences based on cultural deficits
       and race
           Culture is an issue to be remedied
     – The Netherlands: based on narrowing gap of economic
       differences
           Disadvantages can be surmonted through economic
           attainment
                 Implications
Both cases, the issue of pathways towards
academic achievement are varied
 – In the U.S.= segmented assimilation of upward and
  downward mobility and structural analysis persists,
  strong focus on peer culture and segregated schools,
  teacher normalization of failure
– In the Netherlands=schooling is defined through
  tracking and insertion into programs.
     Segmented assimilation is considered by Crul and others to
     be pessimistic.
     Research explanations are national country analysis based
     on age of entry in school, pre school, tracking system,
     decisions made through counselors and stagnation with a
     longer academic path
              Implications
– Explanations currently are about polarization, with
  some succeeding within the current system, and with
  others trailing behind
       Variations between those in school and those who
      have left, bifurcated situation, segregated schools
      (zwarte schools)
– Strong structural focus and analysis situating the
  need for pre school, mentoring programs, coaching,
  tutoring, community schools, additive resources, etc.
– Understanding the length of movement through
  different tracks for Dutch Turkish students who are
  Dutch nationals, yet have Turkish backgrounds,
  speaking and using Dutch is one of the critical
  obstacles to be overcome
           Local Culture Issues
Identities may be ignored through misunderstanding of
youth context
 – Ignoring of youth
 – Suppression of youth
Cultural codes being applied to youth
 – U.S. Spanish is a code word for differences that
   surmount to being a challenge-represents ethnicity
   and race often related to the us and them
 – Netherlands: Islam as religion has become a cultural
   code that is essentialized

  Aristide Zolberg and Long Litt Woon (1999).Islam is Like Spanish: Cultural Incorporation in
  Europe and the United States. Politics and society, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 5-38.
Need for Re-invention towards
  Cultural Change Contexts
Refocusing on what is meant by the success of
youth in and out of schools and what is being
labeled as failure, and whose failure it is
Detracking of schooling and promoting the
advantages of youth over the disadvantages
Understanding language stands for much more
than linguistic communication, and for the power
dynamics it entails
Identifying the ways that curriculum is organized
Identifying the ways that academic engagement
take place
      Need for Re-invention
Focusing on the education of parents and their
pre migration standing and working
collaboratively with them as partners in
education
Understanding educational contexts from which
1.5 generation youth come from, and for 2nd
generation, their access to pre-school
Identifying social, cultural, and linguistic capital
resources of these youth and their development
              Implications
Finding the resilience of Dutch Turkish students,
immigrant youth in Spain or elsewhere despite
the odds they face
Acknowledging their adaptive, multiple identities
as part of the changing contextual landscapes,
they too are changing.

				
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