Mathematically successful Latina and Latino students: stressors and supports Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Gordon, Evelyn M.
    • Affiliation: School of Education
Abstract
  • This study explores the school experiences of six mathematically successful Latina and Latino middle school students. I examined each student's experiences in depth and identified commonalities and differences among the students using qualitative research methods and a comparative case study design. I used a critical multiculturalism perspective that related individual experiences to broader societal movements and incorporated an understanding of oppressed peoples as strong, resourceful, and resilient. Resilience theory as described by Benard provided a lens for examining the personal strengths and the family, school and community resources that support the students' success. I identified ten stressors that were shared by at least two students: poverty, limited academic support at home, limited or strained parent-child relationships, immigration and separation from extended family, learning English, school changes, negative pressure from peers, difficulty with teachers, racism, and pressure to succeed. Students exhibited many personal characteristics of resilient people identified by Benard. Caring relationships and opportunities to participate and contribute were protective factors at home and at school. High expectations were a protective factor at home and were a protective factor in mathematics class for three students; the teacher of the other three students did not hold high expectations for them. I identified three additional categories that may have contributed to students' success but are not part of Benard's resilience model: Responsibility, Family Attitudes Toward School and Mathematics, and Modeling Resilience and Deliberate Actions.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Malloy, Carol E.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • Open access
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