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Title:Caste, collusion and conflict: An ethnographic study of factors affecting the dropout of Mexican-American students in a Chicago barrio elementary school
Author(s):Rosales-Kufrin, Rosario Salas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Troike, Rudolph C.
Department / Program:Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Education, Guidance and Counseling
Education, Elementary
Discipline:Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Education, Guidance and Counseling
Education, Elementary
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Education, Guidance and Counseling
Education, Elementary
Abstract:The alarmingly high rate of secondary school dropout among Mexican-origin students in the United States has been well documented statistically, but little has been written on the school experiences of these students in barrio elementary schools of northern states. This study aims to fill the gap by providing a multidimensional perspective on the achievement and educational experiences of Mexican-origin elementary school students. The goal is to contribute to a deepened understanding of the complex interplay of factors which ultimately lead to these students becoming educational casualties.
The methods are those traditional to the ethnographic genre: long-term on-site participation and observation, open-ended interviews, and descriptive data. Triangulation is provided by the inclusion of survey/statistical data relative to the research site, the barrio, and the larger metropolitan area.
Interviews with students, parents, and school personnel reveal their feelings, perceptions, and opinions regarding educational backgrounds, school experiences, and aspirations. Five longitudinal case studies describe the lives and school experiences of these potential dropouts/pushouts.
Although this study was exploratory and descriptive, several tentative conclusions emerged: dropouts are primarily made, not born; the chain of events is forged in the elementary school, and the consequences are only visibly ratified later. The school success of Mexican-origin students is an interactively determined phenomenon dependent on the combined cooperation and involvement of the three environments which mold the child: family, school, and barrio.
Family/school involvement is essential, with strong family communication a necessary component for the successful student. However, it is also clear that the school has the responsibility to analyze and correct the academic failures of the child at the earliest stages. While appropriate measures to assist the non-English- and limited-English-speaking student must be undertaken by the school--with early intervention critical--the approach must be holistic in nature and must address current inequities in the environments of these students. If any significant improvement is to occur, the contextual and academic aspects of the students' school achievement, as well as the economic circumstances of their families, must become a source of concern and action for society as a whole.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Rosales-Kufrin, Rosario Salas
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924934
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924934

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