Sylvia Hurtado, The University of Michigan
Latinos are doing significant work in the Midwest in education research, but there are several areas that need to be studied for greater balance and completeness. There is a great need for understanding the rural experience as distinct in itself, and in relation to the urban experience, which has been better studied. The experiences of women in schools and colleges needs to be researchd. There is a vast complexity of Latino culture and it is difficult to convey this to western institutions and the students we teach. Schools are not prepared for the changing demographics or their quantitative and qualitative implications. The very complex issue of "mestizaje" (race and cultural mixture; a major theme in Latin America) needs to be redefined and understood in a Midwestern context. The student activism and other types of conflict in Midwest campus communities attest to the need for institutions to better understand how conflict and diversity in the Midwest have fed each other.
A qualitative analysis is vital for an in-depth understanding of the impact that school and work have on Latino students. An important issue for education research is the reform of standards in teacher training and of standardized tests which presently limit Latino access to teacher education programs. Latino recruitment and retention within a cultural context is another area that needs study if we are to better understand the issues involved. An infrastructure needs to be created for breaking down the isolation of Latino scholars and prvoviding the forums for a continuing and regular exchange of ideas in the promotion of research.
The following recommendations are made to promote research on educational issues involving Latinos and the dissemination of this research to the institutional pipeline in education: