How does the integration of information about a student's ancestral culture elicit a more positive motivation for their learning in school? Chicano activists in the Southwest exposed middle school students to a program of instruction based on Mesoamerican ancestry. The program's effectiveness is analyzed through a quasi-experiment. A pre- and post-survey measured cultural awareness, desire, effect, reading preference, self-esteem, and self-concept. Informal student narratives were used to interpret treatment effects. Results indicated that the intervention enhanced students' sense of cultural awareness and voluntary reading preferences. Implication for the study include how culturally relevant instruction can be a valuable stepping stone for motivating traditionally marginalized students into a meaningful engagement with content-area literacy.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/heriberto_godina/4/