4. What factors affect the school performance of this population in general?
-Daily stress due to socioeconomic status
- Takes child away from the activity of learning (Cohen, 1993)
- Parents are less likely to participate
- -Expend most of their energy in survival and basic child care
-Teachers expectations and family values
- Parents’ occupation tends to be transmitted to child—Certain occupations considered appropriate, others perceived as beyond the child’s means and capabilities (Cohen, 1993)
- Educational courses leading to upward mobility often viewed as unrealistic (Cohen, 1993)
- Parents often think to "do well" in school means to be obedient and respectable—as opposed to inquisitive and competitive (Cohen, 1993)
- Parents want children "to learn a profession,…to earn enough to be able to eat, to learn English, to work, to be happy, to do something useful"(Jackson-Maldonado, 1993)
- Immigrant parent often sees school as an alien institution that is sometimes puzzling, often difficult to deal with , and possibly even feared (Fischgrund, Cohen, & Clarkson, 1987)
- Child often viewed by parents as sole responsibility of school authorities while in the school setting (Cohen, 1993)
- Often considered rude for a parent to intrude into the life of the school (Espinosa, 1995)
- Education is not viewed as a collaborative process -- Parents’ only job is to nurture, not to educate (Espinosa, 1995)
- Pronounced gender division: mother conducts relations with the school and father makes final decisions—Often not understood by educators: leads to breakdown in communication (Cohen, 1993)
- Different expectations for male and female children in Hispanic families (Fischgrund, Cohen, & Clarkson, 1987):
-Males: Thought to be driven by inborn malice and sexual energy
- -- Teachers may find this behavior unacceptable
-Females: Viewed as helpless and needing protection
- -- Teachers may
consider discipline to be unnecessary or out of proportion
- Children dependent much longer than in mainstream culture—May lead to unspoken conflict between teacher and parent regarding age of independence (Fischgrund, Cohen, & Clarkson, 1987)
- Unique emotional attachment to language—Child’s status in school setting affected by presence or absence of interpreting and translating services (Cohen, 1993)
- Physical contact -- extremely important to Hispanic population
-When close contact is not established, it is a sign of distance and
difference -- Children may also interpret it as rejection
-U.S. classrooms: teachers told to keep physical contact to a minimum
because of possible lawsuits (Jackson-Maldonado, 1993)
Applications of Information
The United States education system often uses instructional strategies that do not coincide with Hispanic values and styles of learning. As a result, a Hispanic child may constantly receive negative feedback from teachers and other classmates with regards to his or her cultural membership. Simply knowing and being aware of the factors that contribute to these feelings of inferiority will help reduce the gaps that exist between mainstream and minority cultures of a classroom.
Cohen, O. (1993). Educational needs of African American and Hispanic deaf children and youth. In Christensen, K.M., & Delgado, G.L. (Eds.), Multicultural issues in deafness. New York: Longman Publishing.
Espinosa, L.M. (1995). Hispanic parent involvement in early childhood programs (Report No. EDO-PS-95-3). ERIC clearinghouse on elementary and early childhood education. (DERR 9300 2007).
Fischgrund, J., Cohen, O., & Clarkson, R. (1987). Hearing impaired children in black and Hispanic families. Volta Review, 89 (5), 59-67.
Jackson-Maldonado, D. (1993). Mexico and the United States: A cross-cultural perspective on the education of deaf children. In Christensen, K.M., & Delgado, G.L. (Eds.), Multicultural issues in deafness. New York: Longman Publishing.
Lerman, A. (1984). Survey of Hispanic hearing-impaired students and their families in New York city. In Delgado, G.L. (Ed.), The Hispanic deaf. Washington, DC: Gallaudet College Press.