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.


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