Dissertation

Breaking barriers : a qualitative study of the educational and social transformational experiences of Latino males

The research has a social justice agenda that confronts the reality of inequality while seeking to empower Latino students through a search for what led to students’ transformational experiences. This research revealed the stories of four Latino male students that made the educational and social transformation from being on the verge of dropping out high school to now being enrolled in higher education and active in advocating for education in their community. Their stories elucidated the experiences that contributed to their educational struggles and discovered what led to their educational and social transformation. Their stories explored what worked that fostered their transformations, how it worked, and why it worked. The students stories revealed that it was the combination of having access to quality teaching, of developing their critical consciousness, of identifying a bigger purpose for their education, of the bond and support they built among each other, and the family support that all led to their educational and social transformation. The findings of the study found that the most critical factor to students’ transformations was quality teaching. The findings of this study have implications for improving teacher quality, teacher preparation programs, educational leadership, and educational policy.

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