Life Stories of Four Academically Successful Mexican American Students




Mendez, Arthur Alfred

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The lack of academic success of Mexican American students in the U.S. public school system and the factors that contribute to this problem are areas of concern for all Americans. Their poor academic success indicates that schools in the United States are not meeting the unique needs of this student population. With the Mexican American student population increasing rapidly, addressing the present state of Mexican American students' school success becomes an increasingly urgent matter.

A qualitative research design using a life history approach was used in this research project to explore the lives of 4 academically successful Mexican Americans educated in the southwest and central regions of Texas. The study delved deep into the lives of the participants, paying particular attention to their traits, environmental factors, and strategies that contributed to their ability to successfully navigate the public educational system. Three major themes emerged from the data gathered from all the participants of the study that may contribute to the academic success of Mexican American students: (a) the role of family members, (b) self-knowledge, and (c) the quality of interactions between students and their teachers and counselors.


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Academically Successful, Mexican American



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies