Mexican american teachers tell their stories of success in the midst of a colonia
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The purpose of the study was to investigate how teachers at an elementary campus located in the midst of a Colonia perceived their achieved academic recognition when more rigorous federal and state standards seem to challenge even the most affluent areas of the state and country. This interpretive qualitative research was conducted using naturalistic inquiry techniques. Data were collected through two semi-structured interviews, a focus group and a videotaped classroom session. Participants were nominated by parents, the principal, and teachers from Colonia Elementary (pseudonym). According to these four women, their success, and in turn that of the students resided in the fact that their students have been taught in a deeply nurturing environment where their home, culture, and language have been embraced. Noted in this study were four salient themes in the context of this Colonia school: (a) embracing the students’ culture and language; (b) campus-aligned standards and a language transition plan; (c) environment of care, encouragement, and support with high expectations; and (d) clear and well-defined goals based on assessment results. These teachers operated out of the context of what was needed in this Colonia. This study highlighted the strengths of four teachers who achieved success for children living in Colonia.
Gorordo, Guadalupe C. (2008). Mexican american teachers tell their stories of success in the midst of a colonia. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from