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Praxis Placement Story-Ice breakers

stonewall's picture

Last Saturday, at my placement in Adelante, we had a parent/student session in Norristown to share with the parents and students information on different learning styles. The week before each of the students took a quiz to see what kind of learner they were. At the beginning of the session we played a game with the parents and students. There was a bag filled with different colored paper and each person had to take a peice. If the person picked a blue paper they would have to share their dreams for their child. If they picked a green paper they would have to share their favorite book/movie. If they picked a yellow paper they would share a place they want to travel to some day. As we went around the room people shared their answers. None of the parents spoke English and most of them had to bring their younger children with them because they couldn't get a babysitter. When asked what their dreams were for their students a lot of the parents said the same thing,they wanted them to go to college and make a better life for themselves, and the American dream and whatnot. After one mother shared that she wanted her son to go to college, our coordinator added "and graduate!". This reminded me of a book that I'm reading for my inquiry project called From here to university : access, mobility, and resilience among urban Latino youth by Alexander Jun. In the book he discusses why Lantino retention rates at Universities are so low. This moment also reminded me of what my parents wanted for me. My mother is from the Dominican Republic and didn't go to college. Ever since I can remember it was her dream for me to college and make a better life for myself. I think that this is a common desire for children of Latino immigrant families. However, access to higher education and retention once there is challenging.


jccohen's picture

access to higher ed


You make a great point here about "access" to higher ed as key to what you describe as "the American dream and whatnot" that many parents, in this case Latino immigrant families, hold for their children, and yet also as not the whole story in the sense that "retention once there is challenging."  What do you think about the ways that your placement program is approaching college access through the youth and their families?  I'm wondering whether you might take some key findings from your inquiry project back to the program, e.g. the issue of retention, as a way to support their efforts...