Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

John C. Carlisle


John C. Carlisle


Often expressed claims which amounted to a general belief among many of the administrators of the schools of Carbon County were the stimulus for this study. The claims generally expressed were that the Mexican-Indian students of the schools did not have as good ability, did not achieve as well, were poorer attenders, caused a larger amount of difficulty and delinquency and did not adjust to the school society as well proportionately as their co-students of other nationalities. It was stated that while many nationality groups were represented in the school population, that other groups were oriented, assimilated and amalgamated into the mainstream, and seemed to compare favorably, but this was not true of the Mexican-Indian student. It was also a quite common claim that there was little difference between the Mexican-Indian student and others during the early years and up until about the 9th grade but after that a definite contrast appeared and as time progressed the contrast broadened; the Mexican-Indian maturing and marrying earlier, losing interest in school earlier, dropping out earlier, and suffering a greater setback in progress achievement and accomplishment after the 9th grade. It was also claimed that Mexican-Indian family attitudes were not as favorable toward education as others.

Originally, it was planned to compare three groups - the Mexican, another nationality group and the main group. This proved not feasible as a third group was difficult, if not impossible, to find in sufficient quantities for statistical comparison within the scope of the study. This partially proved the one claim, that other nationality groups had amalgamated better. It was thus necessary to limit the comparison to the Mexican-Indian and all other students.

Chief emphasis in this study is placed on determining whether or not the claims as expressed are true regarding the Mexican-Indian student as to their inferiority in various respects within the school. Knowing these facts should help the school know how to work with these students. Certainly, if all or some of these claims are not true these prejudices should be dispersed.

It is not the chief purpose to show why these deficiencies exist although there were some very definite implications derived from the survey. It is readily acknowledged that various sociological and economic factors may be causative explanations for what exists but this is material for a much broader study than this could be.

At the time the study was begun it was felt that the 1952-53 10th grades at the Price Junior High School, the Dragerton Junior High School and the Helper Junior High School could be used as a cross section representing the schools as an experimental group. Unfortunately some phases of the problem could not be adequately developed from this group. It was necessary to branch out into more students to get adequate sampling for the Mexican-Indian group and in some cases to increase the time covered by including activities of the 1952-53 10th grade in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. Notre Dame's 10th grade was used in some instances to increase the sampling. This was not done, however, in cases where the rules of operation differed in the parochial school from those of the public school.

Some difficulty was experienced in getting adequate records or understanding what records really meant. This was particularly true about attendance records and achievement records. More uniformity of recording details on attendance, retentions and registrations would be highly desirable and in some cases more attention to just recording the commonly required items could be applied. Some items of comparison had to be discarded because of lack of adequate, understandable record.

Comparison of the two groups, Mexican-Indian and all others, was made under five main headings:

  1. Mental ability
  2. Achievement
  3. Attendance
  4. Citizenship, discipline and work habits
  5. Personal and social adjustment

In many cases tables and graphs were created to more adequately portray the comparisons. Because of the wide difference in the number in each group, it was necessary in all instances to laboriously convert raw results into percentages in order to equate the findings.

In determining who fell into each comparative group no hard, fast line was drawn. No debate was had as to whether a student was Spanish, Mexican or Indian though this is a common point of pride or prejudice among the Mexican-Indian people. The Indian portion is included simply because there has been intermingling of the Indian and the Mexican people. If the student is designated on the record as "Mexican", "Indian" or "Spanish" they were included in the Mexican-Indian group. All others fall in the all others group.