The Development of the Academic Identity of the Mexican-American Bilingual Elementary Learner through Educational Robotics
This multiple case study focused on the academic identity development of three 4th grade Mexican-American bilingual students at a low-socio economic school district, within an after-school robotics club. The students were observed during after-school robotics club meetings and during competitions, and were interviewed in order to capture their perspectives of their own learning in the club. The students' teacher and one parent for each of the participants was interviewed throughout the academic school year as well to capture the teacher's and parents' perceptions of the students' learning. The findings show that the technology engagement served as mediating factor in the students' academic identity development. A change in the participants' behaviors both in and outside the club became apparent, along with a change in their self-perceptions. They demonstrated an increase in learning-persistence, which aligns with the development of a growth mind set. Such increased persistence in an after-school robotics club is significant; the setting provides Mexican-American bilingual students with opportunities to learn deeply, and to experience small successes that contribute to the development of a growth mind set.