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How to Educate Successful Latino Students (page 2)

By — Diversity in Education Special Edition Contributor
Updated on May 17, 2010

Keeping Latino Youth Motivated Through High School Graduation Is Difficult

Our study followed students only through 10th grade, but it is important to ensure that Latino youth graduate from high school. Academic motivation has been found to decline as adolescents go through school (Chouinard, Vezeau, & Bouffard, 2008; Gottfried et al., 2001). Some researchers believe that drops in academic motivation may be a result of changes in adolescents’ relationships with others (Eccles, Lord, & Midgley, 1991; Eccles et al., 1993). Specifically, as adolescents try to establish their independence, they may seek out less support from their parents and teachers. If this is the case, following Latino students throughout high school can help us see if there is a long-term connection between academic support from parents and teachers and academic motivation. A better understanding of academic motivation for Latino students will help in developing intervention and prevention programs that keep Latino students motivated to succeed in high school.

While we wait for the development of prevention and intervention programs, Latino parents can take some simple steps at home to help motivate their adolescents:

  • Provide help with school work.
  • Show your children that you care about their education.
  • Provide advice about school.
  • Encourage your children to continue their education beyond high school.
  • Help your children make educational plans.

These are important steps for both mothers and fathers to take because moms and dads influence their sons and daughters differently.

References

Alfaro, E. C., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., & Bámaca, M. Y. (2006). The influence of academic support on Latino adolescents’ academic motivation. Family Relations, 55, 279-291.

Anderson, E. S., & Keith, T. Z. (1997). A longitudinal test of a model of academic success for at-risk high school students. Journal of Educational Research, 90, 259-268.

Bernstein, R. (2008, May). U.S. Hispanic population surpasses 45 million: Now 15 percent of total. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives /population/011910.html

Chouinard, R., Vezeau, C., & Bouffard, T. (2008). Coeducational or single-sex school: Does it make a difference on high school girls’ academic motivation? Educational Studies, 34, 129-144.

Cooper, C. R., Denner, J., & Lopez, E. M. (1999). Cultural brokers: Helping Latino children on pathways toward success. The Future of Children: When School is Out, 9, 51-57.

Eccles, J. S., Lord, S., & Midgley, C. (1991). What are we doing to early adolescents? The impact of educational context on early adolescents. American Journal of Education, 99, 521-542.

Eccles, J.S., Wigfield, A., Midgley, C., Reuman, D., MacIver, D., & Feldlaufer, H. (1993). Negative effects of traditional middle schools on students’ motivation. The Elementary School Journal, 93, 553- 574.

Garcia-Preto, N. (1996). Latino families: An overview. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano, & J. K. Pearce (Eds.), Ethnicity and family therapy (2nd ed., pp. 141–154). New York: The Guilford Press.

Goodenow, C., & Grady, K. E. (1993). The relationship of school belonging and friends’ values to academic motivation among urban adolescent students. Journal of Experimental Education, 62, 60-71.

Gottfried, A. E., Fleming, J. S., & Gottfried, A. W. (2001). Continuity of academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through late adolescence: A longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 3-13.

Harter, S. (1996). Teacher and classmate influences on scholastic motivation, self-esteem, and level of voice in adolescents. In J. Juvonen & K. R. Wentzel (Eds.), Social motivation: Understanding children’s school adjustment (pp. 11-65). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Linnenbrink, E. A., & Pintrich, P. R., (2002). Motivation as an enabler for academic success. School Psychology Review, 31, 313-327.

Matute-Bianchi, M. E. (1991). Situational ethnicity and patterns of school performance among immigrant and nonimmigrant Mexican-descent students. In M. A. Gibson & J. U. Ogbu (Eds.), Minority status and schooling: A comparative study of immigrant and involuntary minorities (pp. 205-248). New York: Garland Publishing, Inc.

Newman, B. M., Lohman, B. J., Newman, P. R., Myers, M. C., & Smith, V. L. (2000). Experiences of urban youth navigating the transition to ninth grade. Youth & Society, 31, 387-416.

Pew Hispanic Center (January 2008). School enrollment by race and ethnicity: 2000 and 1006. Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States, 2006. Retrieved from http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/hispanics2006/Table-23.pdf

Sabogal, F., Marin, G., Otero-Sabogal, R., Marin, B. V., & Perez-Stable, E. J. (1987). Hispanic familism and acculturation: What changes and what doesn’t? Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 9, 397-412.

Shweder, R. A., Goodnow, J., Hatano, G., LeVine, R. A., Markus, H., & Miller, P. (1998). The cultural psychology of development: One mind, many mentalities. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & R. Lerner (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (pp. 865-937). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

U.S. Census Bureau, (2008, December). Educational Attainment by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1960 to 2007. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/ 09s0221.pdf

Wentzel, K. R. (1997). Student motivation in middle school: The role of perceived pedagogical caring. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 411-419.

Wentzel, K. R. (1998). Social relationships and motivation in middle school: The role of parents, teachers, and peers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 202-209.

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