Education in 1954: Separating Mexican American Students from White Students

1335 Words6 Pages
When teaching any grade, it is imperative to know the students you are teaching and where they came from. What I enjoy most about teaching is finding out what motivates my students to learn; I find that once a student is motivated to learn, there is no stopping them. When teaching literacy to Spanish-speaking students, motivation plays a key factor to their academic success. As literacy specialists, we need to understand how important a student’s motivation can affect his or her learning capabilities.

Historical Overview:
Before the famous Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, Mexican American children were educated in schools and classrooms that were separate from classrooms that consisted of white children. By
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Literature Review:
Educational resilience can be defined as “the heightened likelihood of success in school and other life accomplishments despite environmental adversities brought about by early traits, conditions, and experiences” Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1994). Studies have shown that there are four attributes or personal characteristics that resilient children have: social competence or responsiveness, problem-solving skills, autonomy, and a sense of purpose. McMillian and Reed (1994) describe four factors that appear to be related to resiliency: individual attributes, positive use of time, family, and school. When comparing 24 resilient and 24 non-resilient students, researchers found no differences between the two groups on socioeconomic status, parent-student involvement, and parental supervision (Waxman, Huang, & Padron, 1997).
While studying five middle schools in South Central United States, Waxman, Huang, & Padron, (1997) determined that motivation was a key factor. About 78% of the resilient students indicated that they would graduate from high school while only 43% of the non-resilient students planned on graduating. The resilient students also were less likely to be late or skip class (Waxman, Huang, & Padron, 1997). Resilient students also indicated that they spent significantly more time doing homework each week than non-resilient students, these students also spend more time on additional readings (Waxman, Huang, & Padron, 1997). These resilient
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