Exploring the academic resilience of first generation Latina/o teacher candidates of immigrant parents in a non-traditional teacher preparation program through the lens of community cultural wealth
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and describe how life experiences of first-generation Latina/o teacher candidates of immigrant parents led them to a career in teaching, and how teacher preparation programs can recruit, train, and retain future Latina/o teacher candidates through supportive measures. The research questions investigated included: (a) What forms of Community Cultural Wealth shape first-generation Latina/o teacher candidates of immigrant parents in their K-12 experiences and career choice of teaching?, (b) What forms of Community Cultural Wealth shape first-generation Latina/o teacher candidates of immigrant parents in their academic resilience in a non-traditional path to college and teacher preparation?, and (c) What forms of Community Cultural Wealth shape first-generation Latina/o teacher candidates of immigrant parents in their future goals of being an educator? Data were collected from a survey administered to 54 teacher candidates and multiple semi-structured interviews and observations. The primary source of data for this research study was the semi-structure interviews of five first-generation teacher candidates of immigrant parents enrolled in the TechTeach Across Texas 2+1 non-traditional teacher preparation program. These first-generation teacher candidates were from the Dallas-Fort Worth cohorts, which are located outside of the university’s geographic region. This study explored the Latina/o teacher candidates’ past experiences, present experiences, and future aspirations. Data were analyzed through the lenses of Community Cultural Wealth (Yosso, 2005). The results indicated the necessity of the six forms of aspirational capital, resistant capital, social capital, linguistic capital, navigational capital, and familial capital in order to be successful in a rigorous teacher preparation program. Familial capital or social capital assisted by providing emotional support. Resistant capital was found a necessity to overcome the numerous obstacles faced while aspirational capital assisted the teacher candidate in perceiving hope beyond the obstacle. The navigational capital must be provided throughout the teacher candidate’s educational experience for success. Having linguistic capital was of necessity to have success as a bilingual teacher with Spanish as the native language.