Latino parents and teachers: key players in building neighborhood social capital

Committee members: Sharon H Ulanoff, Lois Andre-Bechely, Rita Ledesma, Anne Hafner

Community Organizations, Latino Community, Parent Engagement, Social Capital, Teacher Leadership

This narrative study examines how Latino parents and teachers in the Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles community are creating and appropriating social capital to attempt to increase student achievement. Specifically, the study explores how parents and teachers participate in community organizations to extend resources that have the potential to positively impact student success and promote social justice. This study further explores the notion of a strengths perspective to reveal the often-overlooked proactive nature of the Latino community and its impact on educational achievement. Through interviews, observations, and text analysis, a story emerges that demonstrates a collective narrative about beliefs, attitudes, and the motivation behind support efforts. Three major themes (Beyond Aspirational Support: A Focus on Academics, Taking Action: A Proactive Approach, and Community: An Undeniable Influence) highlight the ways parents and teachers are actively engaged in behaviors that lead to student support networks.

California State University, Los Angeles, 2012