ERIC Number: ED287657
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Motivating the Mexican American Student. Fact Sheet.
Connolly, Laura H.; Tucker, Suzanne M.
To understand how to best motivate the Mexican American student, one must look not only to the factors considered relevant to achievement in mainstream Anglo American society, but also to specific problems faced by this minority group. Language barriers, cultural differences, economic background, and family attitudes combine to affect the educational and occupational aspirations of Mexican American students. Increased cross-cultural awareness by teachers is probably the key to motivating the Mexican American student. To begin with, since language is the most important manifestation of one's self, to deny the Mexican Americans' mother tongue is to deny their identity and thus eliminate motivation. Therefore, teachers of Mexican American students should be proficient in Spanish, to enable communication in the students' mother tongue, which would provide shared experiences between teacher and students and establish a link between the students' highly valued family and home and their school. Teachers can help enhance self-esteem through a positive attitude toward Mexican Americans, reinforcing student strengths, and setting high standards for achievement. Motivational and occupational role models should be provided. Finally, teachers must be aware of the educational implications of the learning style of Mexican American students. (JHZ)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Bilingual Education, Cognitive Style, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Influences, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Language Role, Mexican American Education, Mexican Americans, Motivation Techniques, Role Models, Self Concept, Student Motivation, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Las Cruces, NM.