Connecting the Interpersonal, Instructional, and Institutional Contexts

Sonia Nieto, Melissa Rivera, Sandra Quiñones


As discussed throughout this paper, many institutional and instructional strategies can facilitate higher achievement among Latino/a students. Many of these are effective partly because of the relationships they foster. But we also want to point out a few concrete examples of supportive constructive relationships. The common thread in these examples is how the school affirms the students’ home cultures and ethnicity. When students witness the validation of their culture within the educational process, they connect their home or community identities with an academic identity. Most importantly, the cultural substance of their identities feeds and sustains an academic persona, which in turn promotes strong school-oriented relationships among peers, teachers, and parents. The outcome is engaged and interested students who feel their culture is not a deficit but a benefit to their academic achievement.

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