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Examining Teachers’ Knowledge and Attitudes towards Immigration and Undocumented Immigrants. Purdue University, Master’s Degree Graduate Student Esmeralda Cruz July 24, 2014. Rational. 4 in 10 second-generation immigrant children have at least one undocumented parent (Fry & Passel, 2009 )

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examining teachers knowledge and attitudes towards immigration and undocumented immigrants

Examining Teachers’ Knowledge and Attitudes towards Immigration and Undocumented Immigrants

Purdue University, Master’s Degree Graduate StudentEsmeralda CruzJuly 24, 2014

rational
Rational
  • 4 in 10 second-generation immigrant children have at least one undocumented parent (Fry & Passel, 2009)
  • By 2040, 1 in 3 children entering the classroom in the United States will be a second-generation immigrant (Suarez-Orozco et al., 2008)
  • Demographic changes have implications for schools and teachers who must be prepared to educate and meet the needs of these children
rational1
Rational
  • Many teachers are not equipped to help undocumented parents and children navigate barriers due to their legal status
  • Being aware of why and how families migrate as well as stressors they live with once they arrive to this country will help teachers understand and meet the needs of these families
  • Workshops on undocumented immigrants and the immigration process are expected to enhance teachers’ knowledge and improve attitudes
theoretical framework
Theoretical Framework
  • Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM)
  • Social Psychology
  • Central route to persuasion
  • Peripheral route to persuasion
research questions
Research questions
  • Does teachers’ knowledge of immigration and undocumented immigrants increase following participation in immigration workshops?
  • Do teachers’ attitudes regarding immigration and undocumented immigrants improve following participation in immigration workshops?
  • How is teachers’ knowledge of immigration/undocumented immigrants related to teachers’ attitudes regarding immigration/undocumented immigrants?
method participants
Method: Participants
  • The participants were pre-k to 12 public school teachers
  • 5 schools: 3 elementary, 1 middle, and 1 high school
  • 223 teachers
  • Over 90% of teachers were White
method procedures
Method: Procedures
  • Pre and post survey completed by each participant
    • Survey took about 10-15 minutes to complete
    • Knowledge, Attitudes, and Demographics
    • Pre survey
    • Post survey
  • Five schools were visited separately
  • This workshop included two different modalities of presenting information
    • Statistics and data
    • Student testimonies
method procedures teacher workshop agenda
Method: ProceduresTeacher Workshop agenda
  • Undocumented Immigrants: Why, What, How
  • The immigration/Migration Process
    • Group Activity
  • Secure Communities
  • Detention and Deportation
  • How does all of this impact children academically?
  • Immigration policy affecting youth
  • Student Testimony
  • Resources (list of teacher resources)
  • Questions
method measures
Method: Measures
  • Perceived knowledge: this portion of the survey was designed to assess teachers’ knowledge of immigration/undocumented immigrants
  • Nine items assessed General Knowledge
    • Higher scores indicated more knowledge
  • Four items assess Policy Knowledge
    • Higher scores indicated more knowledge (alpha = .73 )
method measures1
Method: Measures
  • Attitudes: attitudes towards immigrants and immigration policy were measured with items adapted from the Pew Hispanic Center (2005)
  • There were eight items in this portion of the survey using a Likert five-point scale from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree
    • An example of an item is, “Immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents”
  • The items were scored so that a higher score reflected more positive attitudes (alpha = .83)
method measures2
Method: Measures
  • Demographics information: teacher demographics included:
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Race
    • Ethnicity
    • Grade level taught
    • Number of years teaching
    • Subjects taught
research question 1
Research question 1
  • A t-test was used to compare mean knowledge scores on the pre-survey and post-survey
  • Results showed that there was a statistically significant increase in general knowledge
    • t(138) = -10.10, p < .001
    • Mean general knowledge score on the pre-survey was: M = 0.72, SD = 0.17
    • Post-survey was M = 0.86, SD = 0.08
  • Results showed that there was a statistically significant increase in policy knowledge
    • t(138) = -23.19, p < .001
    • Mean policy knowledge score on the pre-survey was M = 0.27, SD = 0.38
    • Post-survey was M = 1.32, SD = 0.53
research question 2
Research question 2
  • A t-test was used to compare mean attitude scores on the pre-survey and post-survey
  • Results indicate that there was a statistically significant improvement in attitudes among teachers that participated in the immigration workshop
    • t(136) = -3.69, p < .001
    • Teachers’ pre-survey attitudes were M = 2.44, SD = 0.66
    • Post-survey attitudes were M = 2.60, SD = 0.60
research question 3
Research question 3
  • Bivariate correlations were used to examine the relationship between teacher knowledge and attitudes from the post-survey
  • Results indicated that more knowledge of immigration policies was associated with more positive attitudes
    • r= .27, p < .001
  • General knowledge about immigration issues was not associated with immigration attitudes
    • r= -0.03, ns
demographic variables
Demographic variables
  • Age
    • Results showed that teachers’ age did not have a statistically significant effect on
      • General immigration knowledge F (4, 132) = .68, p < .60,
      • Immigration policy knowledge F (4, 132) = .58, p < .67, or
      • Attitudes F (4, 130) = .18, p < .95
  • Number of years teaching
    • Results indicated that the number of years teachers taught did not have a statistically significant effect on
      • General immigration knowledge F (4, 131) = .36, p < .84,
      • Immigration policy knowledge F (4, 131) = 1.47, p < .21, or
      • Attitudes F (4, 129) = 1.32, p < .27
demographic variables1
Demographic variables
  • Gender
    • Results showed that teachers’ gender did not have a statistically significant effect on
      • General immigration knowledge t(186) = .74, p < .46
      • Immigration policy knowledge t(186) = 1.28, p < .20
      • Attitudes t(184) = .18, p < .86
limitations
Limitations
  • Not all of the teachers in each of the five schools were able to participate in this study
  • Some of the post-surveys in one of the participating schools (maximum of 12) may have been accidentally thrown away
  • Students’ culture and sense of identity was not discussed in depth
    • Teachers’ culture was not discussed at all
    • This could have helped put things into perspective
future research
Future research
  • Replicate this study in other counties and states that have different Latino student population sizes to examine if the size of the Latino student body has an impact on teachers’ attitude
  • Replicate this study looking at the impact in different types of communities, for example urban compared to rural
  • More in-depth research is recommended in this field of work
    • How does increase in knowledge and improvement in attitudes translate into classroom practices, teacher/student relationships, and teacher/parent relationships?
      • Classroom observations of a group of randomly selected teachers that attend this workshop
      • Student focus groups could also be used to examine impact on classroom practices
concluding remarks
Concluding remarks

Research in this field shows that the Latino student demographics will continue to increase

Teachers play a key role in the development and success of these students

Many of these teachers are not being equipped with what they need to address the needs of these students

references
References

Fry, R., & Passel, J. (2009). Latino children: A majority are U.S.-born offspring ofimmigrants. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

Suarez-Orozco, C., Qin, D., & Amthor, R. (2008).Adolescents from immigrant families: Relationships and adaptations in school. In M. Sadowski (Ed.), Adolescents at school: Perspectives on youth, identity and education (2nd ed., pp. 51-69). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wagner, B. C., & Petty, R. E. (2011). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion: Thoughtful and non-thoughtful social influence. In D. Chadee (Ed.), Theories in social psychology (pp. 96-116). Oxford: Blackwell.