Swimming UpStream: Reconsidering Alternative Education and Resiliency vis-à-vis Identity and Context

  • Tricia M. Kress
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 19)


The context of one’s environment has a tremendous impact on one’s identity and on the implementation of ideas, practices, and services in education. In this chapter, Siouxsie Espinosa, an upper-class Latina researcher, finds herself identifying less or more as a Latina depending on her context. This impacted the role that she was playing as a teacher and researcher. The author chronicles how a change in context allowed her to become cognizant of the importance of place when attempting to implement an alternative education program. With the assistance of a youth co-researcher, data was collected and a better understanding of how the context affected the education of youth in a de-industrialized city was attained. For the author, the changes in environment made it clear that what works successfully in one place will not necessarily work in another because place matters. The work reveals that terms such as “alternative education,” “resilience,” and “success” that often undergird the literature on alternative education cannot be understood separately from the socioeconomic and geographical location in which they are used.


High School Diploma Dominant Culture Alternative School Alternative Program Alternative Education 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DorchesterUSA

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