Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Somos Latinos: The experiences of Latino students at an independent school
by Gay, Derrick, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2016, 144; 10243074
Abstract (Summary)

Latinos currently represent the largest, youngest, and fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. This significant demographic shift, however, has yet to manifest fully in independent schools, where Latinos represent the smallest ethnic demographic. While independent schools have increased efforts over the past three decades with regard to outreach, recruitment, enrollment, and retention of students of color, these diversity initiatives largely focus on supporting the psychological well-being of Black students and their families (Arlington & Stevenson, 2003; Steele, 2003; Tatum, 2003). Accordingly, schools largely ground their diversity frameworks to reflect Black racial identity models and experiences, which do not always correlate with the cultural needs or historical lenses of Latinos. This phenomenological qualitative study examined the ways in which Upper School students, who self-identity as Latino, understand their academic and social experiences at a K-12 independent school with an institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion, located in a Metropolitan area in the United States. Through intentional and targeted recruitment efforts, the school has effectively increased its Latino student population. The study found, however, that Latino participants encounter ongoing social and academic racial microaggressions, macroaggressions, and microinvalidations informed both by their Latino identity and intersections of race, gender, socioeconomics, and entry point. Participants highlighted the critical importance of safe spaces, Latino affinity groups, Latino representation within the curriculum, and a designated faculty member to support their ability to navigate the school and develop positive racial identity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ravitch, Sharon
Commitee: Batiste III, Harold E., Kuriloff, Peter
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational and Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Educational leadership, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Diversity, Inclusion, Independent school, Latinos
Publication Number: 10243074
ISBN: 978-1-369-62958-3
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