Lucho Granados-Ceja, Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández & Cristina Guerrero – BASICS Issue #19 – May/June 2010
A Toronto District School Board (TDSB) report, released in April 2008, revealed that that roughly 40 percent of Latino students do not complete secondary school. In response, “Proyecto Latino” was launched by a team of researchers at the Centre for Urban Schooling at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, in collaboration with the Office of Student and Community Equity of the Toronto District School Board. Led by Dr. Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, the team sought to explore the experiences of Latino students, how they define student engagement and what they identify as ways to improve their own educational experience and support their achievement and success.
In the spring of 2009, approximately sixty students from six high schools across Toronto provided their perspectives on their schooling experiences and academic engagement through focus groups and interviews. While the student participants in ‘Proyecto Latino’ represented a wide range of experiences, there were several crosscutting themes that emerged from an analysis of the data that are related to issues of academic engagement and success. The themes are as follows: experiences of students as they relate to social class, the impact of racism and stereotypes, relationships of students with adults, and barriers related to language.
Based on this research, a report has been compiled documenting how Latino students explain the factors that influence their experiences in schools. This report will be released publicly within the next few months and the team will be working with members of the Latino community to mobilize students and parents to pressure the TDSB to implement the report’s recommendations.
Be on the lookout for announcements on a series of workshops and events related to the issue of Latino student success being hosted by Proyecto Latino and Barrio Nuevo.
For more information contact Barrio Nuevo: firstname.lastname@example.org.