As data shows, Latinos are the largest ethnic group in public schools, yet their educational attainment falls well below most other racial groups in the United States (President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, 2002). Under considerable pressure to address the achievement gap, government and educational institutions are constantly seeking out ways to influence outcomes for Latino students. According to the literature, the middle school years initiate student's academic downward spiral. Adolescents during this time are influenced by numerous internal and external factors that can influence academic achievement and motivation. One of these factors is a strong support system that places great emphasis on parents. Thus, this study aimed to address parents' beliefs of their children's motivation during the middle school years.
This study was qualitative in nature and helped provide a deeper understanding of parents' beliefs through a perspective that had yet to be fully examined or considered. Through a qualitative lens, this study contributed to the limited research on Latino parents by exploring the beliefs they have regarding their children's academic motivation. To examine beliefs, parents' values, expectations and aspirations were considered. The study involved two interview sessions with six families of 8th grade students.
Findings from the current study showed that parents regardless of their educational background value education as a means for upward mobility and professional success. Parents also revealed they held the highest expectations and aspirations for their children. All parents expected and hoped that their children would one-day graduate college and have a professional career. Finally, all respondents agreed that their most pressing concern was high school selection, and their lack of knowledge in making this decision. Parents also identified distinct resources and information they believe could benefit them in guiding, advising, and supporting their children in meeting their expectations and aspirations.
|Commitee:||Jimenez y West, Ilda, Rueda, Robert|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Middle School education, Educational psychology, Hispanic American studies|
|Keywords:||Beliefs, Eighth-grade, Expectations, Latino, Middle school, Motivation, Parents|
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