The role of resiliency in academic achievement for Mexican American students

Deficit theories have historically influenced school policy in determining the best methods to assist low achieving Mexican American students. The educational community perceive the Mexican American Students' backgrounds, such as family, culture, language, and community, as the obstacles that prevent them from obtaining academic achievement in school. Their response is usually to develop programs that will "fix" the perceived deficits in Mexican American students. These school practices have yet to produce academic achievement in Mexican American students. This study challenges, through research and personal narratives of six successful Mexican American students, def!ct thories that exacerbate the continuous and disproportionate low academic achievement of Mexican American students; supports resilient research and the development of a more culturally responsible pedogogy that validates and affirms the cultural backgrounds, realities and experiences of Mexican American students. This shift to a more proactive position can develop and enhance a sense of resiliency and "bicultural competence" in Mexican American students. These conditions are necessary to promote academic achievement in Mexican American students.