We will examine some alternative goals and content for education as they relate to those processes first, and then turn to the structure and method through which they may be attained.
In each dimension we will work toward a cross-cultural approach in the development of educational programs and practices for cultural minorities. One of the most difficult, yet most important tasks in the design of any educational program is to make explicit the goals toward which the program is directed.
If assimilation is desired and is to be achieved in full by a cultural minority, it must be supported by social, political and economic forces beyond those available through the school.
Though the school may serve a useful, and even necessary function in the assimilation process, it cannot accomplish the task alone (cf., St. If cultural assimilation is not desired, alternative goals must be adequately articulated so as to be able to assess the extent to which schools may or may not be able to contribute to their attainment.
The most explicit function to which the schools are directed is to the inculcation of the particular knowledge and skills deemed necessary for individual participation in the larger society.
This is sometimes refined to place a more specific emphasis on the development of the mind, with a primary concern for factual knowledge and intellectual skills.
Some of the least direct and least explicit functions of the school become apparent when it is viewed in the context of cultural minority education.
The traditional intellectual and social functions indicated above are then confounded by the additional and seemingly invidious factors associated with cultural differences, such as conflicting values, varied learning styles, diverse behavior patterns, non-conforming social allegiances, and alternative perceptions of reality.
The four basic dimensions of any educational program are, 1) the goals or function, 2) the content, 3) the structure, and 4) the methods used.
If an approach is to be effective, all four dimensions must be functionally integrated, and consistent with the underlying processes through which they interact to form a whole.