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ERIC Number: ED551085
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 218
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-2549-3
The Children of Mexican Immigrants in U.S. Schools: Exploring Their Parents' and Teachers' Perception and Knowledge Gaps
Janecek, Uvaldina
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Arlington
The influx of Mexican immigrants has posed enormous challenges to the nation's public school systems where migration is rapidly increasing. The high Hispanic dropout rate points to a failure in educating Latinos and has received ample attention from researchers, educators, and policymakers; but the achievement disparities persist. Using the lens of critical theory to investigate the presence of a "hidden curriculum" that promotes the dominant ideology in our public school system, this study explores perception gaps between Mexican immigrant parents and the American teachers of their children in a suburban Texas school district where Latinos are in the minority. The project applies a mixed method analysis using parallel survey items and qualitative input to address the following questions: (1) What perceptions and knowledge about education do Mexican immigrant families posses? (2) What perceptions of the culture and educational background of Mexican immigrants do U.S. teachers of Mexican-origin children possess? (3) What are the gaps in these perceptions and knowledge? (4) How do the immigrant families' perceptions and knowledge of the host culture affect their efforts to access U.S. educational opportunities? (5) What potential do these gaps have to affect the education of Mexican immigrant children in U.S. schools? The analysis uncovered the following perception, knowledge, and institutional gaps: (a) the inadequacy of preservice and inservice training for American teachers that serve Mexican-origin students and their families; (b) communication gaps between immigrant parents and teachers, especially secondary and general education teachers; (c) an undervaluation by teachers of immigrant parents' cultural and educational background and parents' capabilities to help their children academically; (d) a disregard for the previous studies of students transferring from Mexican schools; and (e) a failure on the part of the campuses to adequately provide parent involvement activities in the Spanish language. The findings of this study imply that Mexican immigrant families' experiences in this Texas suburban district affect their efforts to fully participate in U.S. educational opportunities because their communication with teachers, school staff and administrators is impeded by cultural and institutional barriers. The findings also indicate narrow prospects for immigrant parents' participation in the traditional campus parent involvement activities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas