Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Edward Streeter

Third Advisor

Wilfred G. Futcher

Abstract

Problem. There has been much controversy over bilingual education programs during the past decade. This has attracted the attention of the news media and local communities throughout the United States. However,parents' views, expectations, or attitudes toward bilingual-education services have not been adequately surveyed. Thus, the problem for this research was to identify which variables or combination of variables are significantly related to: (1) how knowledgeable the parents are regarding bilingual-education services; (2) what attitude they have toward these services; and (3) whether they utilize the bilingual-education services for their children. It was the purpose of this study to discover relationships that may exist between knowledge, attitude, and utilization and other selected variables.

Method. The populations for this study were all the Spanish American parents who had children attending public and private schools (kindergarten to twelfth grade) in the cities of Grand Rapids and Holland. A sample of 205 was selected from Grand Rapids and 164 from Holland by a simple-random method. Data were collected from 204 and 156 from each respective city.

Results. In Grand Rapids, the knowledge of bilingual-education services was significantly correlated with the variables Puerto Rican, Mexican, and occupation. The correlation is positive. The multiple R was .47, which explains 22 percent of the variance in this criterion variable. The hypothesis was rejected.

In Holland, the knowledge of bilingual-education services was significantly correlated with the variables Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Mexican, educational level, occupation, and age. The correlation is positive.The multiple R was .55, which explains 30 percent of the variance in this criterion variable. The hypothesis was rejected.

In Grand Rapids, the attitude towards the bilingual-education services was significantly correlated with the variable occupation. The correlation is positive. The multiple R was .40, which explains 16 percent of the variance in this criterion variable. The hypothesis was rejected.

In Holland, the attitude towards the bilingual-education services was significantly correlated with the variable education. The correlation is positive. The multiple R was .37, which explains 14 percent of the variance in this criterion variable. The hypothesis was rejected.

In Grand Rapids, the utilization of bilingual-education services was significantly correlated with the variables Puerto Rican, years of residence in the United States, and sex. The correlation with years of residence is negative. The multiple R was .42, which explains 17 percent of the variance in this criterion variable. Thehypothesis was rejected.

In Holland, the utilization of bilingual-education services was significantly correlated with the variables Puerto Rican, Cuban, and years of residence in the United States. The correlation with the variables is negative. The multiple R was .31, which explains 10 percent of the variance in this criterion variable. The hypothesis was retained.

Conclusions. The Spanish American parents have little knowledge of the bilingual-education services available to their children in the cities of Grand Rapids and Holland. These parents have a high positive attitude towards those services but only make a moderate use of them. This suggests that affirmative steps should be taken by the local school districts in informing the general public about the availability of the services and to increase their efforts of parental involvement.

Steps that may encourage community participation include bilingual notices and brochures, community groups' representatives in school-related organizations, and requests for help in preparing instructional materials.

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual--Michigan, Spanish Americans--Education--Michigan

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