Rural Schooling Practices: Mexican-Descent Students and Their Teachers




Zaragoza, Mariana Christene

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This study sought to uncover rural schooling experiences among six Mexican-descent students and how learning interactions and relationships are shaped with and by their eleven teachers who also participated. As a positioned subject with my own retrospective memories of schooling, I incorporate my own experiences of subtractive and assimilationist education. As it stands, research on Mexican- descent students has focused on urban Latinas/os in education. Few researchers have examined rural spaces to understand the lived experiences of Mexican origin students, and their relationships to teachers. For this reason, I selected a mixed approach that focuses on conocimiento and framed inside Chicana/Latina feminist theories that embrace lived experience, embodied knowledge, and textual analysis. Within this approach, I distributed to students and teachers a self-administered conocimiento guide that allowed me to interrogate them regarding material, social, cultural and spiritual forces, in relation to systems of racialized ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual inequalities. The findings indicate that most often students felt connected with their teachers, while teachers felt their students' cultural background prevented them from building connections. This lead to negative beliefs about parental involvement and student achievement. With my return to the site of my own schooling after ten years of completion, I have learned that teachers' negative beliefs about Mexican-descent student continue to reproduce miseducation in Rocky Spring.


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chicana feminism, conocimiento, embodied knowledge, Mexican-descent students, rural education, schooling experience



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies