EDUCATION ESSAYS

 
 
 
 
Con Respeto by Guadalupe Valdes is an ethnographic exploration of the lives of ten Mexican families. The focus is not exclusively on the schools, but on the intersection of the culture that the family has brought with them and the mainstream culture in the United States. The lens through which she views this intersection is the situation of Mexican immigrant children in the school system and the way in which schools view them as problems, and their families and cultures as problems too. Valdes first examined the concept of school failure, then looked at the families themselves, with a focus on the perceptions of the mothers regarding family values, the situation of their family, and what was required to succeed in this new world. She takes a novel approach in viewing school solutions as misguided and suggesting that perhaps we should not intervene in the situation of Mexican-origin families, but allow them to maintain the cultural values that may contribute to school problems in the conventional sense, but also contribute to the strength of the family and their potential for long-term success.

In Sonia Nieto's book, The Light in Their Eyes, her focus is on exploring ways to create successful multicultural learning communities. It is a given that the United States is a multicultural society, with more and more potential to benefit from that if it can be seen as promise and possibility. In the classroom, the social context is still not conduc

     
 
 
 
    

 

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