Date

5-4-2020

Description

In the summer of 2019, I followed a qualitative research approach to understand the experiences of recent Mexican-American high school graduates. Literature supports the direct correlation of positive schooling experiences with bicultural youth's ability to participate in civic engagement. An increase in civic engagement then predicts a student's likelihood to pursue a higher education finally predicting an individual's increase in overall quality of life. In order to better chart specific experiences or circumstances which foster civic engagement for Mexican- American youth, this research begins with understanding how Mexican-American youth feel primarily as students in the U.S. education system through the use of interviews. After reviewing literature relevant to the civic education and participation of Latino/a students in U.S. school systems, participants' interviews were combed for themes relating to their socio-cultural relation to civic education as well as their thoughts on the use of bicultural education/ representation in their individual schools. Three themes were identified as recurring factors in the participants' experiences and their interaction with civic engagement/ bicultural education: a) participation in extracurriculars including service programs, b) reliability on and encouragement from teachers and c) aspects of family culture including but not limited to income, attachment to community and self-perceptions of ethnicity. Participants' experiences in each of the three themes were positive indicators of their inclination to be civically engaged with their communities and the world. These positive indicators lead to questions asking why there is a consistent lack of resources for teachers and students in low income/ minority institutions.

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May 4th, 12:00 AM

The Sociocultural Experiences of Mexican-American Recent High School Graduates: Civic Education and Its Social Impact on the Success of Bicultural Youth

In the summer of 2019, I followed a qualitative research approach to understand the experiences of recent Mexican-American high school graduates. Literature supports the direct correlation of positive schooling experiences with bicultural youth's ability to participate in civic engagement. An increase in civic engagement then predicts a student's likelihood to pursue a higher education finally predicting an individual's increase in overall quality of life. In order to better chart specific experiences or circumstances which foster civic engagement for Mexican- American youth, this research begins with understanding how Mexican-American youth feel primarily as students in the U.S. education system through the use of interviews. After reviewing literature relevant to the civic education and participation of Latino/a students in U.S. school systems, participants' interviews were combed for themes relating to their socio-cultural relation to civic education as well as their thoughts on the use of bicultural education/ representation in their individual schools. Three themes were identified as recurring factors in the participants' experiences and their interaction with civic engagement/ bicultural education: a) participation in extracurriculars including service programs, b) reliability on and encouragement from teachers and c) aspects of family culture including but not limited to income, attachment to community and self-perceptions of ethnicity. Participants' experiences in each of the three themes were positive indicators of their inclination to be civically engaged with their communities and the world. These positive indicators lead to questions asking why there is a consistent lack of resources for teachers and students in low income/ minority institutions.