The Latino/Hispanic Experience in the Classroom

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  • 2. GOALS• Speak with and research Latino instructors, students, and special education• Explore the Latino/Hispanic culture and understand various forms of development including cognitive, intellectual, moral, and psychosocial• Connect Motivation Theory to Latino culture• Increase our diversity awareness• Our full Wiki project can be found at
  • 3. LATINO/A EXPERIENCE & THEORIES OF MOTIVATION (PAUL)• Motivation: A force that energizes, sustains, and directs behavior toward a goal.• There is a positive and robust correlation between motivation and achievement.• Learners are intrinsically motivated by activities that present a challenge.• Learners must have a feeling of autonomy.• Meeting the challenges is emotionally satisfying.• Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs: survival, safety, belonging, and self-esteem are vital for intellectual achievement.
  • 4. LATINO INSTRUCTORS, STUDENTS, & SPECIAL EDUCATION (PAUL)• Special Education: Instruction designed to meet unique needs of students with exceptionalities.• Insufficient number of special education teachers prepared to educate language minority students.• Lack of recruitment of Latino instructors.• Resentment toward Latino students.• Latino students are more inclined to be motivated.• Curriculum is not ethnic sensitive.
  • 5. HISPANIC CULTURE ENHANCES EFFECTIVE COGNITIVE SKILLS (SYLVENT)• Parents pass on knowledge to their children, including many specific cultural skills like cooking• Their children learn from them through knowledge processing, cultural examples include: how to prepare tacos and burritos• They receive intensive analysis on different ways to approach it, and about learning in general• They are often bodily-kinesthetic learners, an example of this is their enjoyment of Salsa dancing• Active participation helps them learn
  • 6. HISPANIC STUDENTS’ INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT (SYLVENT)• Hispanics are color oriented• Thus Hispanic colorfulness impacts positively on intelligence• Facts can be presented with colored back grounds• The children remember color cues better than verbal cues• Color stimulates creative thinking towards story writing• Color inspires creativity and encourages students in coming up with new ideas• According to Vygotsky culture is a cognitive tool that encourages students to use their language to describe their developing understanding• So, they have linguistic intelligence and use language to learn
  • 7. THE PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF HISPANIC STUDENTS (JOSEPH)• Strongest influence on psychosocial development is family• Often, their parents are authoritarian, which as we learned can have a negative affect on the child• There exists a prevalence to join gangs among many Hispanic youth• Reasons for that include: a longing for someone to look up to, a need for friendship, and a need for acceptance• It can be hard for youth, especially children of immigrants to fit in, so they will often turn to gangs for friendship and acceptance, a direct connection to Erikson’s Theory stage 5, Identify vs. Confusion• A solution: the PLAN Program• PLAN is a program adopted by a teacher in New York in a predominantly Hispanic classroom• He brought in successful Hispanic adults as mentors to show his students they could make it, and he brought a family atmosphere to the classroom• The key word in PLAN is acceptance• A majority of students who entered PLAN went on to college
  • 8. THE MORAL DEVELOPMENT OF HISPANIC STUDENTS AND PIAGET/CONSTRUCTIVISM(JOSEPH)• “Family plays a central role in shaping Latinos’ Experiences” 1• Hispanic families are tight and close-knit, so children often grow up with an array of adults to look up to and be influenced by• An interesting point: in a series of studies done in the 1980’s, Hispanic youth were found to be significantly more empathetic than their white and black peers• Their ability to emphasize is an indicator that at a minimum, Hispanic youths reach Kohlberg’s Level 2 of his theory• Negative factors on moral development include an inability to fit in in schools sometimes, an unfamiliarity with American school system, and discrimination• Gender differences: Latinas (females), often have to navigate their school careers on their own by sticking together• For males, it is different, as they can use sports as a way to fit in• Sports brings Hispanic males positive role models in coaches, and a way to connect with their peers in a way females cannot• Project P.I.A.G.E.T: A constructivist study done that connect’s Jean Piaget’s theories to the teaching of English to kindergarten age Hispanic students• The study wanted to promote maintenance of Spanish speaking ability but learning English through various techniques and practices including self learning at home and peer interaction through group study 1 Villaruel, Francisco. Handbook of U.S. Latino Psychology: Developmental and Community-Based Perspective. (California: Sage Publications, Inc.) 2009.
  • 9. CONCLUSION• We appreciated the opportunity to explore Hispanic/Latino culture, and we came out of this project with a respect and appreciation for it• Our diversity awareness has grown, and we realized there many factors that go into development and motivation