Educational Barriers Faced
by Hispanic Migrant
Students
Caitlin C. Baker
Who are migrant students?
• A migrant student “is, or whose parent, spouse, or guardian is,
a migratory agricultural worke...
Aspects of the Life of a Migrant Student
and the Resulting Obstacles

10/29/2013

Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty....
Mobility
• Migrant students many move three to five times during each
school year (Martinez, et al.)
• “The family’s migra...
Poverty
• The median annual income for farm workers is between
$2,500 and $5,000. About 75% make less than $10,000 a year
...
Work
• “Children as young as 10 can make a significant contribution
to their family’s income by working rather than attend...
Language/Culture
• Migrant students who were not born in the U.S. “may have
had little or no formal schooling in their nat...
Survey on Public Education for Migrant
and ELL Students
• Survey focused on attitudes toward recent Latino/Hispanic immigr...
Survey Results
In general, do you have a
positive or negative
attitude toward recent
Latino/Hispanic
immigrants?
Generally...
Survey Results
In general, do you have a positive
or negative attitude toward
migrant workers?

Generally
Positive
General...
Survey Results
In general, do you have a
positive or negative
attitude toward bilingual
education for English
Language Lea...
Survey Analysis
• I was surprised that no respondents answered that they had a generally
negative opinion of Latino/Hispan...
Media Representation
Because the issues of migrant farm workers are largely “invisible” to the rest
of the population, not...
References and Works Consulted
Duffie, Lauren. “Migrant Students: A New and Evolving Challenge for Midwest School
Counselo...
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Educational barriers faced by hispanic migrant students - baker

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This a research presentation that I did for my School & Society class toward receiving my teaching license. I chose this topic because I lived in a very small agricultural town in Washington with a large Hispanic farm-worker population. I helped tutor students at the elementary school there and wanted to further explore some of the barriers that Hispanic migrant students may face.

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Educational barriers faced by hispanic migrant students - baker

  1. 1. Educational Barriers Faced by Hispanic Migrant Students Caitlin C. Baker
  2. 2. Who are migrant students? • A migrant student “is, or whose parent, spouse, or guardian is, a migratory agricultural worker… and who, in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompany such parent, spouse, or guardian in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment has moved from one school district to another” (Florida Advisory Committee, pg. 3) • According to National Farm Worker Ministry, “Under U.S. law, agricultural workers as young as the age of twelve are permitted to work.” • Major aspects of the life of migrant students that cause barriers to educational opportunity: Mobility, Poverty, Work, Language/Culture. 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 2
  3. 3. Aspects of the Life of a Migrant Student and the Resulting Obstacles 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 3
  4. 4. Mobility • Migrant students many move three to five times during each school year (Martinez, et al.) • “The family’s migration is not patterned around the traditional school year” causing migrant students to “experience considerable disruptions in the continuity of their education” (Kindler). • Because of frequent moves, migrant students must adjust to “differing school systems, curricula, and social conditions” and may experience “problems with records and credit transfers” (Kindler). 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 4
  5. 5. Poverty • The median annual income for farm workers is between $2,500 and $5,000. About 75% make less than $10,000 a year (U.S. Dept. of Labor). • Additionally, the cost of migrating can be quite expensive (Kindler, pg. 4). • Poverty can cause additional numerous obstacles such as poor health/nutrition, hunger, social isolation because of embarrassment over clothes, low-self esteem/confidence. • Poverty may force students to work or to babysit siblings or cousins while adults are working, which may cause them to miss school. 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 5
  6. 6. Work • “Children as young as 10 can make a significant contribution to their family’s income by working rather than attending school” (Kindler). • Field work exposes children to a variety of health risks from accidental injury and exposure to pesticides and chemicals (Kindler). • In a survey of 84 migrant students, 75% had worked or were working in the fields (Martinez, et al.). • In agriculture, “there are no limits to how many hours children can work” (National Farm Worker Ministry). 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 6
  7. 7. Language/Culture • Migrant students who were not born in the U.S. “may have had little or no formal schooling in their native country” (Kindler). • In absence of appropriate bilingual instruction or instruction in Spanish, “limited proficiency in English not only impedes academic progress, but can lead to social isolation as well” (Kindler). • In my experience working at an elementary school in a very small Hispanic agricultural town in Washington, students often missed school to translate for their parents. 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 7
  8. 8. Survey on Public Education for Migrant and ELL Students • Survey focused on attitudes toward recent Latino/Hispanic immigrants versus non-Latino/Hispanic immigrants, attitudes toward migrant workers, attitudes toward bilingual education as well as a few questions specifically for teachers about the availability and effectiveness of programs for ELL and migrant students at their schools. • I emailed the link to the survey to students of my three classes this semester, as well as posting the link to the survey on Facebook and encouraging friends to take it. • I did not specifically target any demographic. Non-educators could answer “N/A” to questions that specifically targeted educators. • 41 people responded to the survey but not all respondents answered each question • The results of several questions which I found most interesting are included 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 8
  9. 9. Survey Results In general, do you have a positive or negative attitude toward recent Latino/Hispanic immigrants? Generally Positive Of the 39 respondents, 21 answered “Generally Positive,” 0 answered “Generally Negative,” and 18 answered “Neutral/Mostly Neutral.” Generally Negative Neutral/ Mostly Neutral 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 9
  10. 10. Survey Results In general, do you have a positive or negative attitude toward migrant workers? Generally Positive Generally Negative Neutral/Mostly Neutral 10/29/2013 Of the 41 respondents, 21 answered generally positive, 2 answered generally negative, and 18 answered neutral/ mostly neutral. Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 10
  11. 11. Survey Results In general, do you have a positive or negative attitude toward bilingual education for English Language Learner (ELL) students? Of the 40 respondents, 27 answered “Generally Positive,” 4 answered “Generally Negative,” and 9 answered “Neutral/Mostly Neutral.” Generally Positive Generally Negative Neutral/Mo stly Neutral 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 11
  12. 12. Survey Analysis • I was surprised that no respondents answered that they had a generally negative opinion of Latino/Hispanic Immigrants. I had also expected that more respondents would answer that they have a generally negative opinion of migrant farm workers. Instead, for both questions, nearly half of respondents answered that they had neutral or mostly neutral attitudes. These results were inconsistent with the readings that said that xenophobia is an issue faced by migrant students and their families. • I was also surprised that only about ¼ of respondents answered that they were neutral or mostly neutral about bilingual education. This question received more “generally positive” and “generally negative” responses than most of my other questions. • If I were to administer this survey again, I would consider not posting the survey to Facebook. Though it was a convenient way to encourage a large group of people to take the survey, it may have affected my results since many of my friends share similar opinions. 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 12
  13. 13. Media Representation Because the issues of migrant farm workers are largely “invisible” to the rest of the population, not many media representations exist. However, those who feel that those issues are important have expressed their passion for the issues in film, literature, poetry and other mediums: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, a young-adult novel published in 2000, examines the lives of Mexican farm workers as they struggle to adapt to life in the U.S. “And the Earth Did Not Swallow Him” (1995) is a film told from the perspective of 12-yearold son of Mexican-American farm workers. 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 13
  14. 14. References and Works Consulted Duffie, Lauren. “Migrant Students: A New and Evolving Challenge for Midwest School Counselors.” Diss. Winona State U, 2010. Florida Advisory Committee. “Migrant Students: Resources for Migrant Children Similar to Other Students but Achievement Still Lags.” (Report to United States Commission on Civil Rights). 2007. Garity, Dylan. “Rigged Game.” 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo3KFUzyMUI Green, Paul E. “The Undocumented: Educating the Children of Migrant Workers in America.” Bilingual Research Journal 27.1 (2003) 51-71. Kindler, Anneka L. “Education of Migrant Children in the United States.” Directions in Language and Education: National Clearinghouse of Bilingual Education 1.8 (1995). Martinez, Yolanda G., et al. “Voices from the Field: Interviews with Students From Migrant Farmworker Families.” The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students 14 (1994): 333-348 11 Sept. 2013 http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/files/rcd/BE020265/Voices_from_the_Field.pdf National Farm Worker Ministry. “Education.” 2013. 11 Sept. 2013 http://nfwm.org/educationcenter/farm-worker-issues/education/ U.S. Department of Labor: The National Agricultural Workers Survey. 2010. <http://www.doleta.gov/agworker/report9/chapter1.cfm> 10/29/2013 Template copyright 2005 www.brainybetty.com 14
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