ERIC Number: ED350122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: 0
Mexican Immigrant Children in American Schools: A Brief Sketch.
Saragoza, Alex M.
This essay outlines Mexican immigration to the United States, with particular reference to Mexican children and the implications for schooling. The ability of Mexican immigrants to obtain jobs and the nature of the work itself has changed drastically for the worse in recent years. Children of Mexican origin differ in numerous ways in part because of the diverse background in legal status (illegal versus legal resident, and the naturalized citizen), length of stay in the United States, and the intermarriage status. Mexicans usually migrate to the United States for economic reasons. The migration itself involves great risk, stress, and financial investment. Most immigrants have had few years of schooling, an agrarian upbringing, and a small-town lifestyle. The experience of rural Mexicans with their country's educational institutions is marked by uncertainty and distrust, although parents show much deference to teachers. Newly-arrived immigrant children face a cumulative process of adaptation to living in the United States. Teachers usually find immigrant children more cooperative than Mexican-American children who, reared in the United States and under the influence of the "Mexican" stigma, tend to see immigrant children negatively. Large gaps are found between the American youth culture and traditional views of Mexican parents. The following factors can enhance the ability of the teacher to intervene successfully in the educational development of recently arrived Mexican children: (1) outreach programs; (2) resource groups and organizations; (3) knowledge of familial and social networks of the child; and (4) shared information among teachers concerning the instruction of immigrant children. (KS)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Adolescents, Children, Economic Factors, Elementary Secondary Education, Immigrants, Mexican American Education, Mexican Americans, Mexicans, Parent Attitudes, Socialization, Student Characteristics, Teacher Attitudes
New Faces of Liberty/SFSC, P.O. Box 5646, San Francisco, CA 94101 ($3.50 each or $17 per set of 8 essays, including tax, postage, and handling).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Zellerbach Family Fund, San Francisco, CA.; California Univ., Berkeley. Graduate School of Education.