ERIC Number: ED422136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The School Cultures in the Lower Rio Bravo Valley.
Lynch, Patrick D.
This report focuses on Hispanic American culture in the schools of the lower Rio Bravo Valley (Texas) through impressions and descriptions of the interrelationship of school and community. School culture is defined as reflecting the shared characteristics and uniqueness of the community cultures around the school. The school cultures of the Valley are distinct as a result of historical, geographical, and social facts: political action and Hispanic empowerment; geographical remoteness; and a population of predominantly poor, lower-class Mexican Americans living in colonias (low income communities). Family values, reflected in the school, are the key to understanding the lower Rio Bravo Valley school culture: extended family (shown in the teacher-student "in loco parentis" relationship); physical contact (shown in teacher-student touching); discipline and strict authority (shown in strict adherence to zero tolerance policies); support and pride (shown in school spirit and patriotism); strong gender roles; respeto (respect) for authority; and a strong work ethic (shown in the unpaid extra time teachers devote to students and school activities). The continued use of ceremonies, sports and music programs, and scheduling of Mexican holidays and observances help bind the school and community. Common cultural ties are a part of students' lives: Tejano music, novelas (Mexican soap operas), pachangas (social gatherings) where all are included, ethnic food available in the cafeteria, use of school uniforms common in Mexico, and acceptance of the Spanish language in the schools. The schools of the Rio Bravo Valley, each possessing unique elements, have changed from being islands unrelated to the life of the colonia and Hispanic family to embracing cultural continuity. (Contains 26 references.) (SAS)
Descriptors: Community Influence, Cultural Context, Cultural Influences, Educational Anthropology, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Influence, Hispanic American Culture, Mexican American Education, Mexican Americans, School Community Relationship, School Culture, Teacher Student Relationship, Values
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas