Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Francisco Guajardo

Second Advisor

Dr. Velma Menchaca

Third Advisor

Dr. Miguel de los Santos


This autoethnographic study seeks to explain how my "lived experiences" both personal and academic have had a profound effect on the course of my life. Autoethnography has allowed me to utilize "reflexivity, multiple voices, and introspection" to "invoke" readers to enter into my "emergent experience" of doing and writing research. As a first generation, Latina, migrant, high school dropout, I was destined to fail according to research. Through the use of testimonies, I have inscribed the struggles and understanding, creating new knowledge, and affirming my epistemology by writing about what I know best, "familia, barrio, life experiences." Through testimonio pedagogy, we are able to "hear and read each other's stories through voices, silences, bodies, and emotions and with the goal of achieving new conocimientos, or understandings." In moving from silence to debate, I, like many other Chicanas," have interrogated schemas of knowledge and social power." This research study has uncovered significant findings which will enable future researchers to engage in meaningful changes that will provide Mexican-American students the tools to successfully navigate the educational pipeline. Research demonstrates how migrant families continue with their struggles related to "inappropriate living conditions and facilities, health issues, language barriers, and discrimination. Migrant students must endure the hardship caused by the family's high mobility including discrimination, educational inequities, and a deficit thinking mentality that surrounds students of color. Discourse has been extended about the elimination of racism as part of a larger goal of eliminating other forms of subordination such as gender, class, and sexual orientation. The challenges have arisen in public education today because, traditionally, the practices and policies of public schools (including institutions of higher education) have enacted the cultural values, norms, and otherwise "privileged White," "male," "and "middle and upper class students."


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