Latino/Chicano/Hispanic Education

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Latino / Hispanic / Chicano

In my research I discovered an abundant amount of information on educating Chicano’s or Latino’s in the United States, particulary California being that an extremely high population concentrations are in California. In this paper I will list some of the most important cultural diversity facts I’ve found regarding educational barriers, communication behaviors, cultural differences, teaching implications, learning styles and tools and insights. First, what is Chicano or Chicana? A Chicano or Chicana is a term used to indicate an identity held by some persons of Mexican descent living in the United States. Often times, it refers to a first or second generation Mexican American living in an urban, Mexican American immigrant community, where there exists the strong ethnic consciousness of being "Mexican American". It is considered a term of ethnic pride, though not all Mexican Americans proud of their heritage necessarily consider themselves Chicano. A woman of this category is usually named by the feminine form Chicana, and, following the usual conventions for Spanish words, the masculine plural form Chicanos is used for groups that include both genders. Much attention has been directed to the Chicano or Latino youth in schools today. When looking at a chart provided by the 2000 census (Table 2.1). It is obvious why Chicano or Latino have been recognized as a major player in schools, workforce and communities.

Table 2.1
Top Ten Countries of Birth and Ancestral Backgrounds of
California Youth, Ages 13 to 24, 2000
Country of Birth Number Ancestry Number

Foreign-Born U.S.-Born
1. Mexico 783,124 1. Mexican 1,228,338
2. Philippines 76,753 2. African American 310,810
3. El Salvador 59,612 3. German 279,195
4. Vietnam 58,701 4. Irish 210,186
5. Guatemala 42,795 5. English 178,050
6. Korea 28,228 6. Italian 161,383
7. Taiwan 25,859 7. American 158,956
8. India 23,576 8. Filipino 107,742
9. Thailand 22,822 9. White 94,380
10. China 22,337 10. Chinese 82,943

SOURCE: Authors’ calculations from the 2000 Census.


I feel that educational barriers and teaching implications go hand in hand. I feel this is true since an educational barrier is a direct implication to teaching. Nearly half of all Californians today are first-generation or second-generation immigrants. As that share of the California population continues to grow, it is increasingly important to understand the nature of intergenerational progress for immigrant groups. ( Myers, Dowell, John Pitkin, and Julie Park) Recent research has called into question the intergenerational progress of immigrants, particularly educational progress between the second generation and the third generation. When the educational attainment of second and third generations is compared directly with that of their parents or their parents’ generation, the authors find strong intergenerational progress for all major immigrant groups. ( Myers, Dowell, John Pitkin, and Julie Park) However, even by the third generation, Mexican Americans in California have not attained the educational levels that whites have attained. In other words, there is some progress but even by the third generation only 11 percent of Mexican American adults have earned a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, among third-and-later generation whites, more than a third has a bachelor’s degree. Also, about 30 percent of California’s children are growing up in families where neither parent has completed high school. One consequence of this low educational attainment is that as many as 95 percent of these children might not earn a bachelor’s degree; the low educational attainment of parents makes it less likely that their children will attain high levels of education. Among these children at risk of low educational achievement, Mexican Americans make up a large percentage. More than...
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