The English Only Classroom

A perspective of a changing social and political education system.

This paper discusses the social and political perspectives being at odds over diversity in education and how since the events of September 11 2001, attitudes to education have changed. It examines how renewed vigilance of patriotism and Americanism, can be seen in the ideal of requiring an English-only learning environment, almost regardless of immigration rates and societal needs whereas others see September 11th as a wake up call for the American education system to embark on the teaching of a more multicultural nature. It evaluates how teaching principles of democracy and foundational American cultural ideals is not only important but is crucial as is the ideal of tolerance.
“The social and political context of diversity as it applies to education seems to be in a point of confusion. The conservative movement in favor of the English only classroom in publicly funded schools has been fueled by the terrorist events that occurred in September of 2001. Those same events also fuel the cause of diversity in education in both a social and a historical sense. Though these two issues are not by any means the same they do reflect attention in very separate areas of educational trend setting. Even before the September 11th events occurred the backlash toward multicultural education had taken a strong hold on the political perspective.”