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A Case Study of Schooling Practices at an Escuela Secundaria in Mexico

From: The High School Journal
Volume 96, Number 4, April/May 2013
pp. 302-320 | 10.1353/hsj.2013.0017



This article reports results of a qualitative study conducted at a public escuela secundaria (U.S. grades 7, 8, and 9) in Guadalajara, Mexico, during the spring of 2010. As the second phase of an ongoing project, the main goal was to learn from direct classroom observation about the most prevalent teaching and institutional practices at this level of education in a region from which large numbers of English learners arrive in the United States every year. Findings contribute to the limited existing knowledge about the school culture typical of Mexican schools, which includes warm relationships between teachers and students across content areas, the infusion of technology in curriculum and assessment, and the active role of parents in school governance. Practical information presented in this article may help U.S. teachers better understand the prior educational experiences of Mexican-born students and design effective instruction that facilitates their adjustment to cultural norms, routines, and expectations in U.S. classrooms.

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