Chicana and Chicano "pedagogies of the home": Learning from students' lived experiences
The purpose of this study was to illuminate the high school learning experiences of Chicana and Chicano high school students living in San Antonio, Texas. My study defines learning experiences as those experiences that students' have in the context of the home, school, and community. Using qualitative methods, particularly a phenomenological approach, the aim of this study was to provide further insight into the familial experiences of Chicana and Chicano high school students. The driving research questions of this study were: considering the sociohistorical context of schooling for Chicanos in the U.S., what are the experiences of Chicana and Chicano students in the west side of San Antonio? What are their educational experiences in school? What are their educational experiences in their home? What are their educational experiences in a community setting? How do race, class, language, gender, and sexual orientation play into their lived experiences?
As the study unfolded, I found that each student made unique choices concerning their academic and professional futures. One student, Victoria felt that in order to become her own person, she left home. Her decision was not easy but it was one that she felt was necessary. Additionally, I wanted to bring forth, the ways in which one parent drew upon his own schooling experiences in order to provide opportunities for their children, that he believed were not afforded by his own schools, teachers, or the community. For one participant, Mr. Hernandez, this meant providing his children with life experiences that prepared them for the real world. Additionally, it meant imparting stories and advice that reflected his educational experiences so that his children may have positive experiences. This phenomenological inquiry is important because schools and teachers can learn from the participants' stories and experiences to provide better access to school, employment, and similar resources. Finally, this study provides implications related to classroom pedagogy and theory.