The Silencing of the Lambs: How Latino Students Lose Their Voice in School. ISRI Working Paper No. 31.Report as inadecuate

The Silencing of the Lambs: How Latino Students Lose Their Voice in School. ISRI Working Paper No. 31. - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

This paper examines the relationship between Latino students' identity formation and their interpretations of the connection between schooling and career. Autobiographies were written by 47 Mexican American and Puerto Rican students at the end of grade 8, and again by 27 of the same students during grade 11. Virtually all students were from poor or working class homes in an inner-city community with high rates of poverty, crime, and unemployment. The autobiographies covered birth, family, school experiences, friends, and future plans, and were analyzed in terms of each student's family self, student self, and career self. In comparing 8th- and 11th-grade autobiographies, it was apparent that over time, students continued to blame themselves for their poor educational experiences but also began to blame their school and teachers. Students who retained their aspirations were better able to integrate their "critical selves," often in spite of school staff. Although the family self was salient for Mexican American students, it did not appear to provide the social capital needed to facilitate an educational identity. The autobiographies demonstrate that the connection between education and future career was not well developed for most students, and without that connection, they will be unable to tolerate the anxiety that schooling necessarily engenders. Many Latino students, therefore, develop a "defeated self," which leads to "silencing" (disengagement), "resistance" (disruptive behavior), or dropping out. (Contains 15 references.) (SV)

Descriptors: Adolescent Development, Aspiration, Autobiographies, Education Work Relationship, Hispanic American Students, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Secondary Education, Secondary School Students, Self Concept, Student Alienation, Student Attitudes, Student Experience, Student School Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship

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Author: Quiroz, Pamela Anne


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