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Opportunities and risks of transnational schooling: A case study of binational students in Acatlán, Mexico

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Abstract:

A key pattern emerging as a result of globalization is increased back-and-forth, “transnational” migration. Many aspects of transnationalism have been studied in depth, but there is less research on its educational implications, and how concrete actors involved view these implications. What are the opportunities and risks for students with transnational schooling experience? Are they fully engaged in the national school systems they shift between, or do they fall between the gaps of both? The question of “education as that which liberates” is particularly relevant to the children of migrant laborers, for whom transnational schooling is potentially empowering, but also carries the risk of further exclusion from both societies.

The goal of this paper is to explore these issues by analyzing the concrete case of Mexico-US migrant workers’ children, who are dual citizens and have had schooling experiences in both countries. As part of dissertation research, qualitative methods were used to conduct interviews among parents, students and teachers in the Mexican town of Acatlán, where there are strong transnational ties with New York.

Initial findings indicate that although many migrant laborers returned to Mexico with the intention of settling down, the ways in which local schools deal with their US-born children and their comparison of both education systems sometimes influence their decisions to migrate again. Indeed, educational considerations often factor strongly into the ways in which parents weigh the pros and cons of leading a transnational existence. Students’ interviews indicate that, depending on the nature of their migratory experience, they often struggle to integrate – academically and socially - into the Mexican school system. Most students perceive their binationalism and transnational ties as a positive asset, however, which will provide them with better future opportunities in both countries. This paper will discuss these findings and pose questions for further research.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493577_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Alcantara, Alicia. "Opportunities and risks of transnational schooling: A case study of binational students in Acatlán, Mexico" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493577_index.html>

APA Citation:

Alcantara, A. A. , 2011-05-01 "Opportunities and risks of transnational schooling: A case study of binational students in Acatlán, Mexico" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493577_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: A key pattern emerging as a result of globalization is increased back-and-forth, “transnational” migration. Many aspects of transnationalism have been studied in depth, but there is less research on its educational implications, and how concrete actors involved view these implications. What are the opportunities and risks for students with transnational schooling experience? Are they fully engaged in the national school systems they shift between, or do they fall between the gaps of both? The question of “education as that which liberates” is particularly relevant to the children of migrant laborers, for whom transnational schooling is potentially empowering, but also carries the risk of further exclusion from both societies.

The goal of this paper is to explore these issues by analyzing the concrete case of Mexico-US migrant workers’ children, who are dual citizens and have had schooling experiences in both countries. As part of dissertation research, qualitative methods were used to conduct interviews among parents, students and teachers in the Mexican town of Acatlán, where there are strong transnational ties with New York.

Initial findings indicate that although many migrant laborers returned to Mexico with the intention of settling down, the ways in which local schools deal with their US-born children and their comparison of both education systems sometimes influence their decisions to migrate again. Indeed, educational considerations often factor strongly into the ways in which parents weigh the pros and cons of leading a transnational existence. Students’ interviews indicate that, depending on the nature of their migratory experience, they often struggle to integrate – academically and socially - into the Mexican school system. Most students perceive their binationalism and transnational ties as a positive asset, however, which will provide them with better future opportunities in both countries. This paper will discuss these findings and pose questions for further research.


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