The Urban Review

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 81–99 | Cite as

Voices and Perspectives of Latina Paraeducators: The Journey Toward Teacher Certification

  • Christine ValencianaEmail author
  • Evelyn Marino Weisman
  • Susana Y. Flores

This study employed open-ended questions on a survey, a focus group interview and participant observations to document the perspectives of Latina paraeducators concerning the challenges and support systems they encountered in order to complete college and gain admission to a teacher certification program. Findings reveal that their challenges included a lack of knowledge about higher education, unresponsive institutional bureaucracies, and the need for financial aid. Family and a cohort group of peers were identified as important sources of support and motivation. As a result of the struggles they experienced these paraeducators expressed a strong commitment of helping others to pursue academic and professional goals. This work highlights the need to critique and transform fundamental inequities within institutional structures that obstruct equal educational opportunities and hinder the recruitment of bicultural teachers.


Latina paraeducators minority teacher candidates 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Valenciana
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Evelyn Marino Weisman
    • 1
  • Susana Y. Flores
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Elementary and Bilingual EducationCalifornia State UniversityFullertonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Elementary and Bilingual EducationCalifornia State UniversityFullertonUSA

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