Date of Graduation

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Susan Katz

Second Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Third Advisor

Sarah Capitelli

Abstract

Despite major gains in working-class Latin@ immigrant graduation rates and college attendance in recent years, most educators and administrators still perceive Latin@ students with deficit mindsets. Majoritarian storytelling perpetuates deficit myths about working-class Latin@ immigrant students and their families not valuing education. This study joins a growing body of research that uses counterstories to challenge deficit mentalities in education toward working-class Latin@ immigrant students and their families.

This qualitative study involved individual, focus group, and member checking interviews with four Latin@ immigrant mothers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The goal of the study was to learn about the following areas: 1) the educational and schooling experiences and academic aspirations of the mothers, 2) the educational and schooling experiences of their children and grandchildren along with the mothers’ academic aspirations for them, and 3) the mothers’ schooling and education-related hopes for working-class Latin@ immigrant students in the United States in general.

The educational counterstories shared by the mothers provided very rich data and detail, powerfully contradicting deficit ideas in education about working-class Latin@ immigrant students and their families. The findings support the importance of bilingual education, bilingualism, and biliteracy. Furthermore, the study concludes that amazing educational counterstories like these should be used as tools in teacher and administrator preparation programs for bilingual and social justice educators. The rich data provided by the counterstories is ideal material for teaching important educational concepts, theories, strategies, and methods.

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