ERIC Number: ED401345
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Mexican Immigrants in Middle Schools: Diversity, Organizational Structure and Effectiveness.
Balderrama, Maria V.
The Spanish speaking Mexican immigrant population accounts for the fastest growing population in California, where one in six students is an immigrant. This study utilized organizational theory to relate school characteristics such as interdependence, coordination, and information processing to working with immigrant students. The sample consisted of 38 California junior high and middle schools with the unit of analysis being at the school level. Questionnaires administered to school representatives, school records, and interviews with students about their experiences in their new schools were the data sources. The immigrant population in this study was not characterized by problems; they attended school regularly, were well-behaved, and performed reasonably well academically. Schools were dominated by information processes leaving little opportunity for professionals to collaborate. Staff isolation characterized these schools with little teaming, interdependence, collective decision-making, or information exchange related to academic issues. Results of the study are mixed, and hypotheses were only partially supported. Interdependence among the staff resulted in lower rates of disciplinary referrals, and schools with teams had higher levels of information exchange. Contrary to predictions, excused absences and disciplinary referrals were found to be positively associated with the quality of information processing strategies. Recommendations are made to improve a school's ability to address student diversity. (Contains 3 figures, 14 tables, and 50 references.) (Author/SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Discipline, Diversity (Student), Immigrants, Institutional Characteristics, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Mexican Americans, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Multicultural Education, Participative Decision Making, Spanish Speaking, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California