ERIC Number: ED430771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr-22
Cultural Perspectives at Goshen Middle School: Examination of Internal and External Factors That Affect Hispanic Student Achievement.
Bartley, Sandy; Sutton, Robin; Swihart, Steve; Thiery, Tim
A 4-week study at Goshen (Indiana) Middle School examined the internal and external factors affecting Hispanic student achievement. Data were collected through classroom observation, student interviews, and a survey of Latino parents. Although teacher responses to Hispanic student classroom participation were always positive, student responses, from Anglos and Hispanics alike, were less positive. When Hispanic students were given equitable response opportunities, grades improved an average of 10 percent. When the teacher was within an arm's length, Hispanic students stayed on task more, seemed more focused, attempted assignments more readily, completed work more accurately, and submitted more completed assignments. Teacher proximity resulted in grades improving 10 percent for some students, more for others, and not significantly for those already achieving satisfactorily. When Hispanic students sat together, work was turned in 15 percent more often, accuracy improved 10 percent, and grades improved. The rephrasing and reviewing of material in Spanish when Hispanic students sat together led observers to believe that they processed information into long-term memory via Spanish. The study found that it was important to Hispanic students and their families to retain their ability to speak Spanish, and that when teachers spoke Spanish in class, Hispanic students' grades improved. Results of the parent survey indicate that Hispanic parents were very supportive of their children's education but that communication between school and home was poor. Exploration of external factors led to the following recommendations: teachers should learn and use Spanish, occasionally let Hispanic students take assessments in Spanish, and build relationships with Hispanic students and their families. Contains nine figures and the parent questionnaire in English and Spanish. (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Bilingual Teachers, Classroom Environment, Equal Education, Ethnic Bias, Family School Relationship, Hispanic Americans, Limited English Speaking, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Parent Attitudes, Qualitative Research, Spanish Speaking, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Contains some color graphics that may not copy adequately.