Should I stay or should I go? Cultural compatibility of educational institutions and Mexican-descent teachers in a South Texas district

Date
2013
Authors
Peña, Manuel Jason
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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the impact of cultural compatibility on Mexican-descent teacher retention and attrition in a South Texas school district. 100 Mexican-descent teachers participated in anonymous online surveys and two in-depth interviews of current Mexican-descent teachers were conducted. First, the anonymous surveys were reviewed, coded, and divided into three categories---1) "Years with RLISD"; 2) "Cultural Compatibility"; and 3) "Staying or Leaving RLISD." Next, the in-depth interviews were each transcribed, reviewed, coded, and divided into three themes---family culture; community culture; and school culture. After analysis and cross-analysis between the anonymous surveys and in-depth interviews, it was concluded that cultural compatibility has influenced Mexican-descent teacher attrition and retention in Rio Lleno Independent School District (RLISD).

This study brings to the forefront the importance of hiring teachers that can either relate to or understand the cultural experiences of the communities that they serve. The implications of cultural compatibility can assist teacher preparation programs in adequately equipping teachers with the cultural awareness that is essential to teacher and student academic and emotional growth. Furthermore, cultural compatibility can save school districts resource expenditures by convincing them to adapt their recruiting practices that have consistently resulted in high teacher attrition rates. Lastly, any person caring about the current state of education---horrendous dropout rates amongst minorities; drastic budget cuts handicapping school districts; and a severe need for highly effective teachers---can gain a better understanding of how hegemonic educational practices continue to marginalize the cultural values and beliefs of minority teachers and students.

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This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff.
Keywords
attrition, burnout, culture, minorities, retention, teachers
Citation
Department
Bicultural-Bilingual Studies