November 2, 2006
The purpose of this presentation is to
inform pre-service teachers about
Mexican culture in order to better serve
the needs of their Mexican American
The history of Mexico
Learning style preferences of Mexican
Socioeconomic background of Mexican
The need for multicultural education in all
How teachers can effectively teach Mexican
Mexican culture reflects Mexico’s history
through the blending of pre-Hispanic
Mesoamerican civilizations and the
culture of Spain.
Mexico’s Official Language
Spanish is the official language of
Mexico. It is spoken by nearly the entire
population of Mexico.
Families of Mexico
Mexican culture is known for the unified
nature of the family.
The country’s divorce rate is among the
lowest in the world.
Children regularly live with their parents until
Mexican family units stay connected. Often,
grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and
children live in the same area or even in the
Religion of Mexico
Christianity is the national religion of
Mexico. About 89% of Mexicans are
Roman Catholic. Other religions such as
evangelism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints makes up the remaining percent.
The Art of Mexico
Mexico is known After the Mexican
worldwide for its Revolution, a new
folk art traditions, generation of
mostly derived from Mexican artists led a
a combination of the vibrant national
indigenous and movement that
Spanish crafts. incorporated
and folk themes in
The Music of Mexico
The music of Mexico
diverse and features
a wide range of
musical styles. The
best known Mexican
genre is ranchera,
interpreted by a
The Food of Mexico
Mexican food that is popular in Mexico
includes tacos, enchiladas, and pozole.
Traditional Mexican ingredients consist of
turkey, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers,
chiles, squash, peanuts, avocados, guavos,
chocolate, and vanilla.
The Spanish then influenced these by adding
milk, cheese, rice, wheat, cinnamon, oranges,
Popular Sports of Mexico
Bullfighting is a The game of soccer,
popular sport in known as futbol, is
Mexico. Mexico City the most popular
has the largest sport in the country.
bullring in the world.
Learning Style Preference of
Mexican American Students
Environmental learning style – Mexican
American students prefer a cool environment
with formal design.
Emotional learning style – Mexican American
students have a need for a higher degree of
structure than other groups.
Sociological learning style – Mexican
American students enjoy cooperative learning
in groups compared to working alone.
Learning Style Preference of
Mexican American Students cont.
Mexican American males were found to be
more authority-oriented and Mexican
American females were strongly peer-
Physiological learning style – Mexican
American students prefer hands-on learning,
kinesthetic instructional resources, and likes
variety as opposed to routines.
Socioeconomic Background of
Mexican Immigrant Families
Many Mexican children are likely to be from
lower socioeconomic backgrounds,
particularly those whose families have
recently arrived to the U.S. and are
depending on minimum wage jobs.
Teachers working with new immigrant
families will find that these families and their
children have needs that differ from those of
established Hispanic families in their
Socioeconomic Background of
Mexican Immigrant Families cont.
Teachers need to recognize that it is likely that the
children of these newly arrived Hispanic families will
be motivated, hard-working students. Their parents
have sacrificed their old life to provide a better life
for them and their children.
Immigrant children might suffer from culture shock
when arriving to the United States. They may be
homesick for their families, friends, language, and
Economic survival is the primary concern for
The Need for Multicultural
Education in All Classrooms
Teachers need to develop a
multicultural curriculum that celebrates
Mexican Americans for their Mexican
Four Steps to Developing a
Step One – Awareness Step Three – Skills in
which develops which teachers learn
consciousness about teaching strategies and
prejudice and communication styles to
discrimination be culturally responsive
Step Two – Knowledge educators.
or learning about Step Four – Action in
different cultures and which teachers
how cultural implement education
backgrounds affects that is multicultural.
Characteristics of Multiculturally
possess the following
Stress respect for
Create a safe, inclusive,
and respectful learning
Promote social justice
and equity in society
Characteristics of High-Performing
Schools that Serve Mexican American
High-performing schools that serve Mexican
Americans are characterized as putting students first.
Teachers set high expectations for all their students.
Instruction is interacted and student-centered rather
These schools built on cultural values of Mexican
American parents, stress personal contact with
parents, fostered communication with parents, and
facilitated structural accommodations for parent
How Teachers Can Effectively Teach
Mexican American Students
The following contributed to the effectiveness of
teaching Mexican American students:
Teachers who accepted full responsibility for helping
Teachers who were extremely caring and nurturing to
The encouragement of collaborative learning.
Student access to a wide variety of learning
If allowed in a teacher’s school district, the utilization
of both Spanish and English when needed to enhance
According to the U.S. Census Bureau of
2004, the Hispanic population grew from
12.5% to 14.1% from 2000 to 2004. It is
estimated that this population will continue
to increase. Hispanics are now the largest
minority group in the United States.
Race and Hispanic Origin April 1, 2000 July 1, 2004
Total Percent Total Percent
Total Population 281,424.6 100 293,655.4 100
White 231,436.4 82.2 239,880.1 81.7
Black or African American 37,105.0 13.2 39,232.5 13.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 4,225.1 1.5 4,409.4 1.5
Asian 12,006.7 4.3 13,956.6 4.8
Native Hawaiian 906.8 0.3 976.4 0.3
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 35,306.3 12.5 41,322.1 14.1
“PBS: Beyond the Border.”
This website discusses the transition made by four brothers who leave
Mexico in search of a better life in the U.S. in the documentary entitled
“Beyond the Border – Mas Alla de la Frontera.”
This website is useful for teachers who work with newly arrived Mexican
students in understanding the difficulty they may have with transitioning
into American society.
“Culture of Mexico”
This website describes the culture of Mexico by discussing the
language, family relationships, religion, art, literature and
poetry, music, cuisine, and sports.
This website is useful to teachers by allowing them to be
familiar with their Mexican American students’ background.
“History of Mexican Americans.”
This website describes the history of Mexican Americans. Its contents
include defining “Mexican Americans,” immigration, the Mexican
Revolution, labor struggles, the civil rights movement, the Chicano
movement, and current demographics of Mexican Americans.
This website is useful to teachers because it discusses the challenges and
triumphs of Mexican Americans throughout history. This information is
important for teachers to be aware of when developing a multicultural
curriculum in their classroom.
“Mexico – History and Culture.”
This website discusses the history and culture of various cities in
Mexico. It also discusses the geography of Mexico’s vast lands.
This website is useful for teachers because it gives them cultural
background about Mexico. Cultural background affects learning and will
allow them to successfully reach their Mexican American students.
“Multicultural Education Internet Resource Guide.”
This website is a guide to over 50 websites created to assist
multicultural educators in locating educational resources on
This website is beneficial for teachers because it provides
various resources of multicultural instruction to allow for a
Journal Article #1
“High-Performing Schools Serving Mexican American
Students: What They Can Teach Us.”
Authors – Alicia and Jay Scribner
This article reports the characteristics of successful
schools where the student population is mostly
This article is beneficial to principals, teachers, and
school districts by demonstrating how schools can be
high-performing with students who are mostly
Mexican American and have limited English
Journal Article #2
“Hispanic-American Students and Learning Style.”
Authors – Shirley Griggs and Rita Dunn
This article identifies cultural values that may affect
the learning processes of Hispanic-American students
and discusses the learning style preferences of
This article is beneficial to teachers who work with
Hispanic students because it allows them to be aware
of what learning styles work best for the majority of
students from a Hispanic background.
Mexican American students face many challenges.
Many are from poor backgrounds. Their families may
lack the communication skills, knowledge, and
experience to take advantage of educational, cultural,
and social opportunities. Some Mexican American
students are newly arrived immigrants who may
experience culture shock and limited English
proficiency. However, with proper education that
includes caring teachers who have high expectations
for these students, Mexican American students can
become high achieving, successful adults.
McGinnis, E. (2002). PBS: Beyond the border. Web site:
Culture of Mexico (2000). Web site:
History of Mexican Americans (2004). Web site:
Mexico –history and culture (2001). Web site:
Multicultural Education Internet Resource Guide. (2000).
Griggs, S. & Dunn, R. (1996). Hispanic-American
students and learning styles. Urbana, IL: ERIC
Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood
Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.
Scribner, A. & J. (2001). High-performing schools
serving mexican american students. Charleston, WV:
ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small
Schools. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.