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Theses and Dissertations

Name:Yolanda G. Martinez-Ramos
Educating The Children of Migrant Workers: Agricultural Anthropological Perspective.

This thesis is a study of the educational experiences of migrant children in Florida and of the barriers that often prevent them from obtaining an education. The study also discusses the efforts by the government to help increase the educational opportunities of migrant children through identification and recruitment. The data in which this study is based was obtained by the Migrant Student Survey and personal observation of recruiting procedures. The survey consisted of a questionnaire as well as an evaluation of academicperformance and self-esteem. The purpose of the survey was to find out how migrant children perceive their educational experience and everything that surrounds them in an effort to determine how these circumstances influence their academic performance. The hope is that by looking at this data better ways of helping migrant students can be implemented. The observation of recruiting procedures provided an insight into the other end of the issue; it revealed some of the efforts in the Department of Education in identifying the children of migrant agricultural workers and ensuring that they are enrolled in school. Recruiters also ensure that the student's educational as well as health and nutritional needs are met. The findings show that, although mobility does place serious obstacles in the way of the education of migrant children, migrant recruiters are an important link in helping to provide continuity between schools. The study also found that there are other reasons such as poverty, social attitudes toward migrants, and schools' preconceptions of migrant student academic performance which also contribute to migrant student school failure. Although mobility is an unchangeable factor in the survival of migrant farmworkers, the concluding chapter presents recommendations aimed at ameliorating some of the barriers created by mobility and removing some of the barriers caused by social attitudes toward migrants, and school preconceptions of migrant student academic performance.