Comparison Paper

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Comparison Paper of:

1) Assessing Multiculturalism as a
Behavioural Theory
(Jeffrey G Reitz)

&

Immigrant Students and Schooling
In Toronto, 1960s to 1990s
(Carl E. James and Barbara Burnaby)

Word Count – 1300
Submitted By: M.S.

Comparing James and Burnaby & Reitz
Multiculturalism in Canada is thought to be, the experience, whereby individuals from various nations come together to; contribute, embrace and discover each other’s global, cultural and religious experiences, in a harmonious manner. Once we apply this notion to different realms of society we come to realize that this concept of multiculturalism is not as lucid or agreeable as one might like to perceive, this is especially apparent in education. In this paper we will examine studies conducted by James and Burnaby, and Reitz; decipher their objectives, determine the modes and methods of inquiry used, discuss what their theoretical concepts and ideas are, and uncover what some of the key findings are. Both authors provide a greater understanding of how to achieve the ideal environment for which multiculturalism can thrive.

The main objective of the article “Immigrant Students and Schooling in Toronto, 1960s to 1990s,” by James and Burnaby, is to explore how immigrants and refugees fair in the Toronto educational system, over an extended period of time, through analysis of “Every Student Survey”. James and Burnaby use this method to examine various policies and programs issued by the government, and how they are apply to local school-based facilities; the Toronto Board of Education (TBE) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The main objective in the article, “Assessing Multiculturalism as a Behavioural Theory” by Jeffrey G. Reitz, is to explore the assimilation of immigrants in Canadian society by using a large-scale (41,000 participants), Nation-wide survey, “Ethnic Diversity Survey” (2002). Quite simply, Reitz investigates his central focus, “Does multiculturalism work? And what are the characteristics that make it successful, particularly in Canada?

In comparing these two articles there are several theoretical concepts that can be evaluated, however the focus of this paper will compare or contrast how multiculturalism and immigration are impacted by; education, politics/policy, and behavioural/social interactions.

James and Burnaby, and Reitz aim to identify trends with respect to immigrants and Canadian education. These 2 articles attribute the success of immigrants in education from 2 different perceptions. James and Burnaby have explored the attitudes of immigrants in Canadian education, and discovered that immigrants tend to attribute much of their success to themselves, their experiences, hardships and familial influence. They are the personal aspirations and experiences of immigrants which tend to enhance the “immigrant drive” in education (James & Burnaby, pg. 266). The disposition to be overly ambitious, desire to make parents proud, and will to succeed in education and be competent, are some of the factors which may account for immigrants being successful in the Canadian education system. Many students that are immigrants or children of immigrants, their parents’ main focus is to instill in their children, is not necessarily to fit in, rather to be competent and successful in their education.

Rietz also demonstrates Canada’s efforts to create social cohesion, particularly in the educational realm. However in contrast to James and Burnaby, he sheds light on the fact that Canada’s policies and constitution are aimed at helping immigrants cope with Canadian life and assimilation, specifically through the Multiculturalism Act, 1988, which was revamped to include additional obligations at the provincial and municipal level, such as incorporating multicultural...
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