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The Conservation of Insight: Educational Understanding of Bilingualism

by Margaret Mead - 1978

As as illustration of the way we can conserve the insights of the past and at the same time infuse them with a sense of discovery and personal creativity, the author sketches the relationship between anthropological theory and the problems of bilingual education.


Today, when peoples of different academic generations gather to discuss a problem, it is almost routine to say, "Let's not reinvent the wheel," and then follow this with what often appears to others as a restatement of something they already know. The discussion then proceeds with boredom, irritation, and sometimes despair on the part of those who feel they have heard this all before, because it seems that all attempts to apply the insight derived from science and experience are repetitious and therefore, by definition, inefficacious.


I think this is a false metaphor. The wheel involves a very simple set of principles that can be applied to an ox cart or an eight-cylinder car and, once invented, is very difficult if not impossible to ignore.There are sufficient prototypes in nature, from tumbleweeds to logs used as rollers, for launching a canoe, so it is very difficult to imagine how it could not have been invented over and over again in different parts of the world. Yet the whole of the Americas, before Columbus, was without it.


The kinds of insights to which people refer when they are discussing conceptions and practices that involve human beings and the current state of the societies in which they live are of a very different order. They involve the continuing active participation of human beings, human beings subject to aging, to political vicissitudes, to changes in climate of opinion and knowledge.


In a country like our own, 200 years after our organization as a nation state, in an age in which the sciences, human as well as physical, have grown at an unprecedented rate, the expectation of change is built in and the hope that change will represent progress is balanced by the fear that we will lose the advances we have made. The American fear of loss of status, if that status has to be shared by others, which has pervaded our class structure and dictated our attitudes toward residence, has also permeated our educational decisions for over a century. It has been expressed in the distinction between the private academy for the children of the privileged and the public school for the unprivileged,  the series of attempts to extend the period of free education (first into the high schools and then to higher education), the dual school system of the South, and the separation of pupils and resources by residential segregation in the North. Who is to be educated, with whom, and for what, has been a central theme in the working out of American democracy and has provided an ever-changing framework within which new and old educational theories have been reargued.


Those who have initiated change within one set of circumstances have aged within it, returning periodically to the fray to lament that the reforms they advocated were never really carried out. Younger educators, facing a new version of old problems, fresh from the fray, hear these laments as dirges from the past. While these complaints may sharpen their zeal, they also inject some notes of disenchantment into educational policies, a disenchantment that is either accentuated or diminished by the turn of events within the country and in the context of accelerated planetary communication.  It therefore seems to me that it would be worthwhile to develop a model or a set of models within which the point could be made that although some part of a program or policy has been developed in the past, nevertheless there is a difference the next time around;the advocacy of free education for all children, informed attention to individual differences, accent on the disadvantaged or on the gifted, homogeneous classes that facilitate a sense of worth, or heterogeneous classes that stimulate different capacities of gifted children —the list can be as long and detailed, or as short and broad, as one likes.


One model is a simple historical one:  the careful specification of the contexts (in the late nineteenth century, before World War I, after World War I, etc.) in which the degree of urbanization; the nature of transportation, immigration and in-migration; the use of economic resources; the degree of communication with and modeling on news about changes in German, Russian, and Chinese schooling, are worked out carefully in relation to the condition of education. With our new computer tools, it would be possible to devise an instrument through which any number of variables could be graphically introduced so that all of these contextual factors could be grasped, as in the kind of graphic presentation used by the Club of Rome and refined in later versions of successive Club of Rome reports. [1] Each time statistics are introduced —for example, how many children attended how many grades of school or what percentage of literacy existed —this could be seen in the context of the size of the student population, or the degree of urbanization of the country, or types of immigration from countries of high or low literacy. Each point of advocacy —class size and class composition, location and type of structure of.school buildings, per capita resources spent on each pupil in different areas —could be seen in context before statements about the success or failure of new programs could be dismissed with, "We tried that in 1932"; "In the end we always fall back"; "No matter what sort of experimental college we try to invent, they all end up as four year B.A.colleges";or statements about decentralization or aggregation of pupils in consolidated schools like the Gary, Indiana,  model in the decade before World War I or the advocacy of educational parks in the 1960s.


In this way we might get rid of the boredom that generations of students have felt over the recitation of educational history, which in context can be fascinating, but separated from the wider context often does seem repetitive.


One also might draw on the Gesell-Ilg spiral model of human development and combine it with an evolutionary aspiration.  In the Gesell-Ilg model, [2] the developing child is seen as returning periodically to the same set of developmental problems, each time at a chronologically older level, so that this recurrence presents a second, third, fourth, chance to work out the same problems. The spiral model can also be applied to cultural evolution so that each solution of, for example, the problems of communication —speech, glyphs, script, telegraphy —represents a more complex solution to the same problem of communication with greater speed over greater distance.


In human affairs, we also have to take account of the periodic swings that can be attributed to generational conflict.In any society in which change is expected, there is also a rebellion of one generation against the preceding generation, whether this is the biological parent, the teacher, or the style setter in some creative field.  These pendulum swings may result only in nonsignificant changes which appear as fashion, or they may represent a spiraling effect.  In a field like education, where the contribution and point of view of each age grade is bound to be infused with a certain amount of rejection of their own education as well as the usual rebellion against the senior generation, there may be expected to be even more of a pendulum swing than that which occurs in a field like the arts.  Every time a pendulum swings, like the return to the three Rs and the McGuffy readers, it is condemned as a simple repetition.  Then we lose a chance to point out what may in fact be a spiral effect rather than a simple pendulum swing with the next generation returning to the same position.  The possibilities of finding and accentuating some new level that can transform the simple pendulum swing into a spiral can be enhanced or reduced by the willingness of the participants in any debate to inspect the difference in circumstances surrounding the discussion.


Furthermore, increasing knowledge of human behavior adds another dimension.  True, we can find the same kind of pendulum swing, which can be attributed to intergenerational conflict, within science itself, so that scientific insights may be neglected for a decade or several decades. But there is a steady accumulation of unassailable knowledge that must be taken into account by educators if they wish to make advances deeper than changes in fashion.


To the changes in situation, changes in the world at large, precipitating events, generational conflict, and changes in fashion, we must add the steady increase in scientific knowledge.  Within such a cpmplexity, we can advance one step further in judging which insights from previous educational innovations we do indeed wish to conserve.  Can insight be conserved or must each generation remake the same discoveries in order to have the sense of authentic participation?  Anthropologists face this problem over and over again, as young students go out into the field and rediscover "culture, "or some aspect of culture, about which they have read and heard but which, because they have not experienced it, they do not actually know.  The desire to name the fresh discovery may be overwhelming and so jargon is born, jargon which insulates groups of practitioners from each other and from the wider groups of concerned citizenry on whom all applications of scientific insights depend.


As an illustration of the way in which we can systematically invoke this system of complexities, I have chosen to sketch out the relationship between anthropological theory and problems of bilingual education as they have occurred during my scientific lifetime.  This began with my first piece of research on the relationship between language spoken at home and the performance of Italian children on intelligence tests. [3] During my senior year in college, I was completing a major in psychology and planning to take an M.A.in psychology, but already preparing to shift to anthropology.  My mother, who had made a study [4] of the adjustment of Italian immigrants in Hammonton, New Jersey, was making a restudy and had consulted Professor Boas in connection with her physical [5] measurements of Italian children.He suggested to me that I take advantage of my mother's records of the community and make a study of the relationship between the amount of Italian spoken in their homes and the Italian school children's intelligence test scores.


The situation within which this question was raised was the preoccupation with intelligence tests that resulted from the application of psychological tests during World War I.  In the post-World War I climate, with its accompaniment of zenophobia and reaction, these tests scores had been used to claim the innate inferiority not only of Afro-Americans but of people of Mediterranean stock who had been crowding to our shores in great numbers.  Immigration laws were being designed to limit the numbers of such immigrants.  Attempts were made to suggest that children who spoke a foreign language might have difficulty in school, but these were countered by an insistence that this might be true in kindergarten but would soon disappear.  The whole question of language was neglected within the racial discussions of the day, which were focused on the superiority of Nordics, [6] northern Europeans who had a better record of adjustment in American schools than did southern Europeans.


American cultural anthropology has a basic premise that social and cultural differences between groups of human beings, as distinct from differences among individuals, are due to experience and not to genetics. [7]


The results of my research could have been predicted:  There was a direct relationship between the amount of Italian spoken at home, itself related to the date of immigration of the parents, and the scores on intelligence tests, which were themselves related to expected performance in American schools.


Here the issue was simply the consequences of speaking a different "mother tongue"and my study did not raise the question of bilingualism itself.  But in the course of searching the literature, I found a study made in Wales, which contained some very interesting points.Children who spoke Welsh at home, played in Welsh, and were taught at school in English performed worst; children who spoke English at home, at play,  and at school performed best;and the children who spoke Welsh at home, but played and were taught in English were intermediate.The author claimed that the disadvantages of this bilingualism extended into the university years. [8]


During my subsequent years of field work, and in the process of learning Oceanic languages myself, I became interested in the way a twoyear-old American child handled his bilingual competence in Samoan and English.  This competence, which disappeared with his return to the United States, crippled his capabilities in writing English right up to his attainment of a graduate degree.  Later, working among the Omaha Indians, I found undertones in the writing of Indian adolescents, who were educated only in English, that suggested a negative relationship between the two languages.In both cases, one of a mother tongue and one of a second language spoken in the community and not at home, the relationships between the two languages were negative.Through the years between 1925 and World War II, I collected a variety of cases of this sort, still under the stimulation of the original Welsh study and the possibilities that it suggested of continuing mental handicap.


While little attention was paid to the effect of foreign languages spoken by European immigrants'children, the treatment of language in American schools was affected by the decision after World War I to demand a high school education for every child.There had been a slow infusion of children from less literate backgrounds into the American school system in the early years of the century to which American schools responded by impoverishing the curriculum.  Greek, which had been a requirement the generation before, almost completely disappeared, followed by a reduction in the requirement of Latin.With the entrance of more pupils of immigrant and working-class backgrounds, Spanish began to replace French and German, as both easier and more suitable for "commercial courses." The arguments in back of this reduction of the importance of learning at least one second language were a compound of contempt for the capabilities of the newcomers and a belief that the old idea that "Latin trained the mind"was false and there was no transfer of learning from studying one subject to studying another.  (A recognition that one poorly learned subject interfered with learning another, while one well-learned subject facilitated learning another, had to wait for a much more sophisticated understanding of learning.)


During the thirties and forties, though there was little interest in bilingualism as such, an attempt was made to allow for students of foreign origin in a variety of intercultural activities. The customs, the"songs and food, the dance and dress, of various cultural groups were recognized within the schools and within the community.  But the expression of this movement toward cultural pluralism was hampered at the language level because so many of the immigrants had been nonliterate and spoke only a dialect.  Attempts to introduce them to the standard language of their countries of origin often proved embarrassing and, after some valiant educational battles for Italian, it would be found that the Italian students elected to study French where no special competence would be expected of them.  Also, within the movements of culturally impoverished white populations during the depression, there was a beginning recognition that they too spoke a dialect and that communication between pupil and teacher was hampered when the referents of the same word were very different.  Echoes of the study of the canal-boat children in England (the alleged deficiencies of which have again been hauled into a politicized struggle in the 1970s) [9] entered the American scene during World War II when we struggled with the kinds of education appropriate for children who came from bare surroundings with little discipline; these children needed the discipline of the old-style kindergarten more than the currently fashionable freedom of the new-style nursery school, which was devised for middle-class children who came from homes where they were too constrained to neatness and order.


During World War II, I was involved in developing the anthropological study of food habits and we made a series of studies of the food habits of various ethnic groups in the United States. [10] For the first time a new dimension beyond that of familiarity with and use of the mother tongue was introduced into the problem of bilingual education. We found a close association between love of food, home, and speech among Italian children and began to see the poorer early performance of Italian children in school as due to the contrast between the home atmosphere and the relative coldness of the American school room. This contrast did not hold for children of German immigrants, who were brought up in homes where eating correctly was used as discipline, so that the demands of the home dining table and of the school were more congruent.  Research work on the food habits of black and white children in the South also provided new insights into stylistic contrasts between home and school as some of our black research workers introduced, as a criterion of nutrition, whether people "used manners"and "said grace."


These observations on home style could be further interpreted in the light of the extensive studies of class differences in the South made during the thirties. [11]  Discussions of education, of the capacity of children to benefit from an education in terms of caste and class, presaged the emphasis on cultural deprivation and dialectical differences in speech that were to surface two decades later.


Also at the same period, when the military draft on the one hand and racial conflict on the other focused attention on ethnic and racial differences in literacy and competency, there was a renewal of discussion about the relationship of schooling and competence.  The little book The Races of Mankind by Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, [12] which included a disturbing statement about the superiority of black children schooled in unsegregated schools in the Northeast over some white children schooled in inferior schools in the South, was distributed by the Navy and banned by the Army.But here the emphasis was upon the way schools could iron out differences in home backgrounds —differences that appeared in records of achievement or intelligence tests — rather than upon the effect of dialects spoken at home.  Under the heading "differences in experience"we were of course already beginning to deal with problems that could later be related to effects of bilingualism.  I remember pointing out to teachers of the children of Appalachian migrants in California that the word "cup"called up very different images to a teacher who paired "cup and saucer"in her mind and to a child who had never seen a saucer.


Linguists had not yet been involved in the question of the consequences of bilingualism or monolingualism.  However, during World War II, when it became necessary to educate large groups of Americans to deal with foreign languages, linguists were brought in to devise new methods of language learning under the program of the American Council of Learned Societies.  Entirely new methods of teaching languages with saturated daylong practice were introduced.  These methods focused attention not only on the inadequacy of our language teaching,  but also on some of the psychological consequences of a kind of monolingualism that results in thinking of the words in other languages as translations of the English names for objects.


After World War II, the demand for translation and the invention of simultaneous translation aided by electronic transmission devices introduced new questions.  To what kind of experience could the expertise of those Russian emigres who developed simultaneous translation be attributed?  Concurrently, we were making a study of various Eastern European Jewish groups, recognizing the importance of their multilingualism.  There were also clinical reports of a kind of paranoia in which hearing voices was sometimes displayed by children of immigrant multilingual parents who reserved one language to quarrel in.


As Israel received its mass of Asian Jews, new insights developed on the degree to which the children of Asian immigrants found difficulties in schools built on a European model when they were compared with children of European backgrounds.In the United States, in the international atmosphere of the immediate post-World War II period, there were a variety of experiments in teaching foreign languages —especially Russian and Chinese —or attempts by embattled classicists to introduce the new methods into the teaching of Latin and Greek.Meanwhile, the Modern Language Association resisted the new methods so that, in the mid-1950s, one could find Latin taught as a living language, French as a dead language (that is, learned entirely from texts), and a course in the nature of language itself in the same school. [13]


While during the late 1940s and early 1950s the active attempts at racial integration had been somewhat moderated because of full employment, by the mid-1950s it became clear that there would be serious employment difficulties for black youth as the need for unskilled labor decreased and automation produced structural unemployment.  Renewed agitation for racial equality —the civil rights movement —began.  In the light of earlier studies of cultural deprivation and the continuing criticisms of test results, which anthropologists had produced intermittently, there was renewed interest in school situations where black children who spoke a dialect were taught by middle-class white teachers who spoke standard English, or where Puerto Rican and Mexican children presented all the difficulties of both cultural difference and language difference when they entered school. After flurries of resistance, in which civil rights leaders resented the idea of speaking a dialect, serious research into Black English and bilingual and bicultural education for non-English-speaking children began.  Linguistics, as a separate scientific discipline, was introduced into the field of education, peaking in the late sixties. The emphasis throughout has been on kinds of communication that are impeded —between teacher and children, or children and fellow pupils, or teachers and parents —when a cultural barrier has to be crossed rather than upon the effect upon the child learner of being bilingual or multilingual.  The use of film and film analyzers and the development of the subdisciplines of kinesics, proxemics, and paralinguistics provided a scientific background for analyzing a variety of classroom problems. [14]  In short, we have extensive documentation today about the way in which differences in culture and language, or dialect and standard language, or caste and class differences within one culture affect the child's performance in a school designed for children of the majority culture, a school in which success can be positively predicated on the successful passing of standard tests that have been validated within the same system.


Outside the immediate educational system, anthropologists and anthropological linguists have also been building up a corpus of experience.  In 1958, Paul Garvan organized a symposium in which the consequences of differences in the status of two languages were extensively explored. [15]  In an earlier paper, Gregory Bateson had suggested that it was not enough for two speakers of a lingua franca, from different statuses, to be able to discuss any subject in that lingua franca because for the most part they would never be led to conduct such conversations. [16]


On the practical level, with the extraordinary dispersion of foreign nationals all over the world, in the complex networks of international organizations, multinational corporations, and armies of occupation, the question of the effect of bilingual education on child residents abroad has been raised by hundreds of parents, anxious about their children's intellectual development.  Does bilingualism impair not only performance in school, but actual mental functioning? There was a great deal of evidence to show the enormous advantages enjoyed by those who had command of more than one language who had broken the rigid links that tied the names of objects in one language unbreakably to the objects themselves. The long history of intellectual achievement by Jews and Armenians who, by minority status, have always been forced to speak more than one language could be cited.  And yet, experience with children in bilingual situations was puzzling, as aptly summed up by Chester Christian:  "In an important sense, the education of those who speak two langauges can never be equal to the education of monolinguals;it must be inferior or superior.Whether it will be one or the other depends heavily on whether literacy is provided in one or both languages." [17]


These present-day findings are based primarily on the study of bilingual situations to which the relevance of literacy has long been known, for example, in comparing the failure of American and most English-speaking peoples to produce high levels of literacy in English when children were taught from the beginning only in English, as compared with the success of the Dutch in the former East Indies who introduced children to literacy in their original languages and produced students who found it easy to become literate in several European languages.  These relative successes have been known for three decades but have only recently been recognized by American educators under the pressure of the criticism of our failure to educate minority children. The insight of three decades ago had to be focused by events, fostered within a climate of opinion, and provided with resources and research done with the contemporary style of educational research in happy alliance with linguists and anthropologists.


So we have new, well-defined knowledge of the relationships between the language spoken at home and the educational achievement of the child, which now draws on the many researches that previously fell on deaf ears and might quite easily —but incorrectly —be defined as reinventing the wheel.  Meanwhile, a nagging question remains:  Is there still, in fact, a difficulty in bilingualism that impairs or compromises mental functioning? (I am using the older term mental because of the peculiarly jargonish connotation of the word cognitive at present.)  The Welsh study of five decades ago suggested a difference in emotional weight in three areas —home, play, and school.  This is different from the status questions and the comprehension questions that have concerned so many recent research workers.  It is not a matter of a child in a vocabulary-poor home not knowing the name for red, although differences in color can be perceived; or feeling lonely and frightened because he doesn't know how to ask for the toilet in English.  This is also different from the problem of how paralinguistic phenomena affect communication, teaching, and learning.


It has nagged at my mind through all the years that I have thought about questions of bi-and multilingualism.The early instance of the American child who ceased to remember any Samoan, but whose command of English was impaired and in whose writing Samoan constructions persisted, was followed by many other instances of apparent suppressions of languages learned in early childhood, suppressions that in some cases could be recovered under stress of great emotion.  Edward Sapir fifty years ago questioned the integrity of speaking more than one language and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a charming essay on the dishonesty of speaking a foreign language.Yet in the late 1940s, I had a brilliant young collaborator who could deal, with complete intellectual efficiency, with any subject, using exclusively her Russian, German, French, or English competence, acquired in successive periods of schooling. There seemed to be as much evidence on one side of the argument as on the other, with circumstances of relative status and use being the determinants of whether a bilingual was indeed inferior or superior to a monolingual.


It is only very recently that I have begun to develop a new theoretical approach, informed by accumulating evidence, which has led me to go back and pick up a number of leads that date back many decades.  We have assumed that bilingualism and multilingualism are virtually the same thing, when compared with monolingualism, and from the standpoint of whether or not one is imprisoned in one intellectual system,  this is of course true.  There is also abundant evidence that the first step —the first new language, the first new cuisine —is the hardest and that after that first break away from prison the next language, the next cuisine, the next culture, is easier to learn.  But the accumulation of small observations suddenly made me ask:  Haven't we made a mistake not to differentiate more between bilingualism and multilingualism, attributing the virtue or advantages of multilingualism to bilingualism and neglecting the differences in which bilingualism may produce severe mental handicaps, while multilingualism does not?  Isn't it possible that bilingualism is another kind of trap as severe in its own way as monolingualism?


Once this question is asked, a whole new vista opens up.  All the evidence that has been so carefully assembled on the asymmetries and confusions that accompany learning two languages fall into place.  Every dualism contains possible destructive potentialities of polarization.  The ambivalences inherent in human development are always available both in the parent-child situation, based upon the inevitable dependency of the child, and in human attempts at turning such complementary situations into egalitarian, symmetrical relationships. [18]


The efforts of educators in the last twenty years to establish bilingualism have been motivated by political and humanitarian ideas of egalitarianism and attempts to compensate for and reduce the superior advantages of children who speak a majority language over those who speak a minority language.  As such, they touch the very center of the relationship between school and community, both in immediate relationships between each school and the local community and in the ques tion of how schools —elementary, secondary, and higher —prepare for membership in the larger communities of nation, continent, hemisphere,  and planet. The teaching of other languages opens the student's mind to other systems of thought and feeling, other cultures and other periods of history, and breaks the rigidity inherent in one language.  But if only one other language is taught, and if that language is one already loaded with affect through economic, social, and religious disparities, inequalities, and historical and cultural contact, there may be more disadvantages than advantages.


Supporting evidence is found in the accounts of the serious and responsible efforts of middle-class English-speaking Canadian parents who send their children to French-speaking schools, producing different —less satisfactory —results from those achieved when French-speaking children go to English-speaking schools, even in a province where French is the majority language'rather than English.  Here, social class and economic situation are held constant; the situation is not intensified by parents who speak two languages, and both give access to literate traditions that are strictly comparable and distinguished. [19]


The contrasting evidence concerning the high achievement of multilingual groups like Eastern European Jews and Armenians, and the extraordinary integrative capacities of a multilingual country like Switzerland, no longer seems to contradict evidence of the possible handicapping effect of bilingualism.  The extraordinary capacity of Russians reared under the old regime of several governesses and tutors, each of whom spoke no Russian, which made the invention of simultaneous translation possible, becomes equally relevant.  Bilingualism, and especially bilingualism developed in some compensatory effort to absorb immigrants, increase social mobility, equalize inequalities as a step toward openness and membership in the world, can be a trap.  It becomes, as so many analyses of past and recent experiments in relationships between majority and minority languages have shown, a worse trap if there is no literacy in the mother tongue.


But once it is recognized that it is the potential antagonism in all dualism and all polarizations that is harmful, the next step is easy to take and has some of the delightful simplicity that all good educational innovations have.Simply introduce a third language.The third language need be only enough to give children a sense that there are many systems of speech and writing so that they are not boxed in forever by two languages with different emotional weighting.  A UNICEF Christmas card with "Merry Christmas" in many scripts, a song with the same tune and words in three languages, a game in which the words from a third language are kept intact, opens the way.At later educational levels, this is the function that was performed by Siamese in the traditional preparation of young Englishmen for the foreign service or by television lessons in Russian or Swahili for the internationally minded neighbors of the Army language school in Monterey, California.


I have brought this discussion from my earliest wonderment about the effect of a language spoken by an immigrant, minority group of children to my present state of understanding that involved over five decades of relevant research and continuing quest for more knowledge to make a rough sketch of the way in which a growing body of scientific knowledge in dynamic psychology and cultural anthropology [20] can illuminate, decade by decade, a continuing problem.  Each generation of research workers that has attacked the question has brought more insight.  Many have been as lacking in historical and comparative perspective as the opponents of Mediterranean immigration were of the history that made an absurdity of their prejudices.Similarly, Jensen's ignorance of concepts of race and hybridization make his attribution of a lesser ability to handle abstractions in children classified as black than in children classified as white equally alarming.  In both cases the preservation or inclusion of a minimal degree of existing knowledge would have been a corrective.


A lifetime of pursuit of a problem, a lifetime in which a research worker returns again and again to the same problem, can follow the spiral model rather easily.  Our problem becomes how, other than by apprenticeship to one teacher, we can bring to students of education a form of preparation for their task that can conserve the insights of the past and at the same time infuse them with a sense of discovery and personal creativity.




[1] Mihajlo Mesarovich and Eduard Pestel, Mankind at the Turning Point (New York: Dutton, 1974); and Donella H.Meadows et al., Limits to Growth:  Report of the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind (New York:  Universe Books, 1972).


[2] Margaret Mead, "On the Implications for Anthropology of the Gesell-Ilg Approach to Maturation. American Anthropologist 49, no.1 (January-March 1947): 69-77.


[3] Margaret Mead, "Group Intelligence Tests and Linguistic Disability among Italian Children, "School and Society 25, no.642 (April 1927):  465-68; idem, "The Methodology of Racial Testing:  Its Significance for Sociology, "American Journal of Sociology 5 (March 1926).


[4] Emily Fogg Mead, Italian on the Land:  A Study in Immigration, U.S.Bureau of Labor Bulletin 14, (May 1907), pp.473-533.


[5] Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race:  Or the Racial Basis of European History (New York: Scribner, 1918; 4th rev. ed., New York:  Scribner, 1936).


[6] During the 1920s there was a fairly lively interest in "culture-free tests," which followed the development of performance tests for the nonliterate used in World War I.  Beatrice Blackwood (A Study of Mental Testing in Relation to Anthropology [Baltimore:  Williams Wilkins Co., 1927 ]) summarized a number of these attempts and, throughout the ensuing years, there have been periodic attempts to develop such tests culminating in such investigations as those of Charles Osgood ("Objective Indicators of Subjective Culture," in Issues in Cross Cultural Research, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol.286, ed.Leonore Loeb Adler [New York Academy of Sciences, 1977 ]).  Although the emphasis has shifted from attempts to develop tests that can adequately test children of very different cultures or detect special competencies developed in primitive cultures (Michael Cole and Sylvia Scribner, "Developmental Theories Applied to Cross-Cultural Research," in Issues in Cross Cultural Research;Michael Cole, "An Ethnographic Psychology of Cognition," in Cross Cultural Perspective on Learning, eds.R.W. Brislin, S.Bochner, and WJ.Lonner [New York: Halsted/Wiley, 1975 ] ;and Michael Cole, J. Gay, J.Click, and D.Sharp, The Cultural Context of Learning and Thinking [New York:Basic Books, 1971 ]), they have indirectly contributed to a background for the question of the relationship between bilingualism or multilingualism and manifestations of intelligence either in school or formal test situations.


[7] DJ.Saer, "The Effect of Bilingualism on Intelligence," British Journal of Psychology 14 (1923):35-38; and see B.S.Bloom, Compensatory Education for Cultural Deprivation (New York:  Holt, Rinehart &Winston, 1965), which has been criticized for the methods used —a procedure frequently used to discredit unacceptable ideas.  I cite it here in terms of its suggestiveness, a suggestiveness it took a long time to realize.


[8] Cyril Hurt, The Backward Child (London:  University of London Press, 1937); and Arthur Jensen, "Heritability of IQ, "Science 194, no.4260 (October 1976):6.


[9] Margaret Mead, "The Problem of Changing Food Habits," in Report of the Committee on Food Habits, 1941-1943, National Research Council Bulletin 108 (Washington, D.C.:  National Academy of Sciences, 1943).


[10] Allison Davis, Burleigh B.Gardner, and Mary R.Gardner;directed by W. Lloyd Warner,  Deep South:  A Social Anthropological Study of Caste and Class (Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1941); Allison Davis and John Dollard, Caste and Class in a Southern Town (New Haven, Conn.:  Yale University Press, 1937); Allison Davis and John Dollard, Children of Bondage:  The Personality Development of Negro Youth in the Urban South (Washington, D.C.:  American Council on Education, 1940):  and W.Lloyd Warner, Robert J.Havighurst, and Martin B.Leob, Who Shall be Educated?  The Challenge of Unequal Opportunities (New York:  Harper and Brothers, 1944).


[11] Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, The Races of Mankind (New York:  Viking Press, 1947).


[12] Margaret Mead, "An Anthropologist's Search for a Good Linguistic Education for Her Child," Parents League Review 12 (1978).


[13] Courtney B.Cazden, Vera P.John, and Dell Hymes, eds., Functions of Language in the Classroom (New York:  Teachers College Press, 1972).


[14] Margaret Mead, "Discussion of the Symposium Papers, "in "Urbanization and Standard Language: A Symposium Presented at the 1958 Meetings of the American Anthropological Association," Anthropological Linguistics I, no.3 (March 1959):32-33.


[15] Gregory Bateson, "Pidgin English and Cross Cultural Communication,”Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences 6, no.4, series 2 (1944):137-41.


[16] Chester C.Christian, "Social and Psychological Implications of Bilingual Literacy, "in The Bilingual Child, ed. Antonio Simoes, Jr. (New York:  Academic Press, 1976), p.38.


[17] Margaret Mead, "End Linkage:A Tool for Cross-Cultural Analysis, "in About Bateson: Essays on Gregory Bateson, ed.John Brockman (New York:  Dutton, 1977)pp.169-231


[18] Merrill Swain and Henry C.Bank, "Bilingual Educational Recent Developments,” in Simoes, The Bilingual Child, pp.91-100.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 79 Number 4, 1978, p. 705-721
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1160, Date Accessed: 10/27/2021 1:07:39 PM

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