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Review Of Joel Spring Book

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There are many similarities within the Mexican and Indian1 experiences of schools and education policy in what is now referred to as America. However, thematically, these similarities represent the larger scope of Anglo attitudes and policies that characterize the educational "missions" applied to most dominated groups in the United States. Most notably is the emphasis of addressing perceived language deficiencies and implementing language education programs. Secondly, is the staunch attempts at deculturalization for both groups.

While these methods are not unique, as they have been and continue to be used on the majority of dominated groups, the circumstances to which these methods were applied in the Mexican and Indian cases are quite unique, and perhaps because of this, especially threatening to Anglo interests. This may be best depicted with the quote, "a victor has the choice of either eradicating the conquered population or assimilating them into its own culture.(p.91)" The essential key revealed in this quote is that both of these groups were conquered peoples. The languages and cultures of these peoples within the borders of the aspiring America posed a greater threats to Anglo society and therefore the methods of education and deculturalization employed had to be carefully chosen and justified in order to maintain Anglo control.

While racial classifications were manipulated to enact segregated schooling, obstruct citizenry, and deny voting rights for Mexicans by classifying them as Indians, their treatment and experiences differed vastly from that of the Indians. Rather than race being the deciding factor for this discrepancy, for Mexicans were now considered Indians, it was the recognition of the separate historic and cultural specific circumstances of the Mexicans and Indians that provided the grounds for different approaches to deculturalization by the Anglos.

The most visible difference in educational policies for Mexicans and Indians, and the one that I will focus on, was compulsory boarding schools. Here, Indians were forced to attend these schools while Mexicans were not. In fact, compulsory education was the antithesis of the Anglo vision for Mexican education. I posit that the reason for this polarity in policy was largely in part due to the imperialist rule of the Spanish over Mexico. And, whether consciously or not for the Anglos, this separated the "needs" of the Mexicans and Indians as well as how each group was viewed.

The Spanish had already instituted a process of instilling European values in the Americas. An example of this would be the export of Christianity, namely Catholicism. While Catholicism did not fit the dominant Anglo-Protestant schema, there were Catholic movements vying for power already in place during this time. Those Catholics seeking their own legitimacy within the dominate Protestant culture enabled Mexicans to advance educational efforts by attending parochial schools, despite the fact that these school were still segregated. On the other hand, the Indians were considered heathens by all Christians, having no religions identifiable with that of Christianity. This created that added task of complete religious conversion, a task that had be previously accomplished by the Spanish for the Mexicans.

Language plays perhaps the most important role in the deculturalization process. There is nothing more visible concerning the differences in culture than language, and justifications for why different languages must be eradicated in order to ensure cultural dominance, while having no real basis, become the pivotal focus for destroying ones culture. Erroneously, it is believed that language is a reflection of an entire culture, revealing the values, though patterns, norms, and morals. This is emphatically illustrated



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