Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

A New Approach in Meeting the Needs of Latinos in American Schools: Students’ Views on Attending a Redesigned Small High School

Dr Ali Borjian.

U.S. educational system has not been successful in offering many children the opportunity to benefit from the fruits of a rewarding educational experience. In particular, many Latino students face daunting educational challenges in American schools. Latino students are more likely to attend high poverty urban schools. They generally attend overcrowded classes and are mostly taught by under-prepared teachers. In short, Latino students attending large urban schools are facing learning environments that are dramatically substandard.
Yet some schools are exceptionally different than the norm. Well-designed small high schools are capable of providing invaluable learning opportunities to low income, urban minority students. Based on a series of interviews and a comprehensive questionnaire, this article explains how Latino students attending a small high school in California view their school and teachers. Their perceptions of students with different ethnicities as well as their aspirations for higher education are also presented. Students are satisfied with their schooling experience and describe their teachers as hard working and caring. Students also emphasize that they trust the school to do the best for them. Latino students note that they have made friends with students from different ethnic backgrounds. Latino students not only have very high educational aspirations but also indicate that their parents encourage them to pursue higher education.


Dr Ali Borjian  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Department of Elementary Education
San Francisco State University

Dr. Borjian is an assistant professor of Elementary Education and a language researcher at San Francisco State University. His area of specialization is second language acquisition and teacher education. His current research focuses on providing English language development support to language minority students attending urban high schools.

  • Urban Schools
  • School Reform
  • Language Minority Students
  • Learning Environment
  • Educational Support
  • Schooling Experience
Person as Subject
  • Latinos

(60 min. Workshop, English)