Examining the lives of five Mexican American female educators with more than 25 years of experience in South Texas border schools
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This study was a qualitative study that explored the lives of Mexican American female educators with more than 25 years of experience teaching in South Texas border schools. The purpose of the study was to explore the participants' views and perceptions regarding their educational experiences, both formal and informal, within the contexts of community, political climate, family, religious, and educational institutions. A nonrandom, purposeful sample of five classroom teachers was used. Data were collected through extended interviews with participants. Data were unitized, coded, categorized, and compared to yield emerging themes. The narrative data yielded stories of overcoming barriers such as prejudice, classism, racism, and segregation. The participants identified family members and teachers as persons who most impacted their own lives as teachers. Guided by the participants' constructions of educational experiences, the study revealed stories of a collective struggle for educational equity. Through constant comparison analysis, major constructs emerged, specifically, the participants' resiliency in the face of difficulties and barriers and protective factors in their lives. This study concluded that the participants used resiliency traits to reach their education goals. These traits included social competency, a sense of purpose, positive expectations for the future, autonomy, and strong religious belief. The protective factors were: (a) families' high expectations despite difficult economic situations, (b) opportunity for responsible participation at home and at school, and (c) autonomy/strong religious faith and evidence of a strong caring adult in their lives. The participants' stories of struggle provided a backdrop upon which they voiced their perceptions regarding education and educating Mexican American students.
Ramon-Reuthinger, GeorgeAnne (2005). Examining the lives of five Mexican American female educators with more than 25 years of experience in South Texas border schools. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from