Author

Dennis Heaton

Date of Award:

4-2013

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Sherry Marx

Abstract

This work explored the academic success of 10 Latino/a students in Southern View School District, a school district in the state of Utah. The students and their parents, when available, were interviewed and the students' academic records were reviewed. The students were asked to identify a school person, teacher, administrator, or staff person, who could help explain their success. The school person was then interviewed. The data were collated and analyzed using resilience theory and the critical race-based constructs of resistance and resilience resistance. The construct of colorblindness was also used to discuss the participants' attitudes towards less successful Latino/a students and their families.

The work revealed that the successful Latino/a students accessed the protective factors of personal strengths and environmental resources to remain resilient and achieve in school. It was also discovered that the students' success was also a form of resistance that was explained using the constructs of conformist resistance and resilient resistance. The student success was revealed as a way to resist oppression and remain in the educational pipeline. It was also discovered that student, parent, and school participants had adopted a colorblind ideology that assumed equal opportunity was available to all without regard to race. These observations led to the conclusion that the school system and the students of color it served would benefit from direct discussion of White privilege and what it means to be of a non-White racial group. The recommendation was that the school should adopt a systematic model of social justice education that could help more student access protective factors and facilitate critical conversations about race

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