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

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.

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Correspondence to Christine Valenciana.

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These authors are affiliated with Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education, California State University Fullerton, CA.

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Valenciana, C., Weisman, E.M. & Flores, S.Y. Voices and Perspectives of Latina Paraeducators: The Journey Toward Teacher Certification. Urban Rev 38, 81–99 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-006-0029-3

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Keywords

  • Latina paraeducators
  • minority teacher candidates