From the students' point of view: Latino students' perspectives on schooling
AdvisorMcCarty, Teresa L.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis ethnographic study illuminates the connections between race, class, and academic engagement and the role that schools and educators exert in shaping them. The critical events portrayed demonstrate the power of social stereotyping and racism in relationship to academic engagement and the aspirations of culturally diverse high school students. At the same time, the study shows that human relationships are at the heart of schooling, and that the power relations of the broader society are often enacted in the interactions that occur between students and teachers in the classroom. Two Latino high school students, one foreign born and one U.S. born, shared candidly their points of view and perceptions about students' attrition and academic disengagement. Their perspectives were later compared to the views of thirty-three educators employed at the same urban educational institutions these students attended. A survey of these educators expanded our understanding of the forces that influence teachers' views of Latino students and their communities. The present study also examined Ogbu's influential theory of differential school success, and the connections between opposition, identity, and academic engagement. However, this study corroborated Jim Cummins' recent work, suggesting that students' behavior and motivation is influenced not only from historically or politically derived structures, but most importantly from day-to-day interactions with members of the institutional setting. During the study, the students spoke at length about school practices and policies that serve to separate students along ethnic and class lines, and that favor certain dominant ideologies over others. Issues of selective enforcement of strict disciplinary school rules, marginalization of Latino students in the curriculum, and a deteriorated school climate characterized by the absence of a true "community" among the diverse ethnic groups represented in the schools were some of the issues that emerged. The study concluded with a summary of the main recommendations for change and reform based on suggestions of the students themselves. These recommendations emanate from the sincere and genuine voices of Latino youth, representing much needed insights if we are to reverse the ongoing pattern of failure among Latino populations.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture