Con respeto: Bridging the Distance between Culturally Diverse Families and Schools by Guadalupe Valdes Name: Institutional affiliation: Bridging the Distance between Culturally Diverse Families and Schools Book Review Introduction This book which is an ethnographic portrait by Guadalupe Valdes was intended for Mexican parents especially mothers…
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In fact the highest level of education that an adult in this family attained was grade four. In reviewing this book it is evident that it is useful for all parents and especially those in the marginalized areas of the country and is wiling to improve their children’s educational status. In support of this, the Valdes basis his focus on the issues of school personnel necessary for maintaining family life and improving their socialization. To the audience the author expresses the effects of American culture to the Mexican families. Through this the audience is able to recognize how culture shapes the perception and behavior of the individual. From this the intended audience is able to recognize the reason why the Mexican children failed in school often mistaken for lack of family understanding according to Soto (2007). It is also associated with the difficulties faced when fighting to cope with the new life in America. Through this the author intends the audience to realize the many obstacles that can face an immigrant in a new environment. This book would also be useful to the American government and researchers in knowing how to solve the problems of immigrant in the society. In this case is teaching the immigrants the English language is one of the factors the country should consider. The book is also useful to the government in regard to the means of developing full and potential intellectuals of the society now and in future. This book is also useful to other American parents whether poor or rich. This is because the book gives them ideas on they can use the true view of what contributes to success and failure in family values. For instance parents should value the teacher’s message to the children in order to participate in building the child’s intellect. The Mexican immigrant families in most cases did not care about these verbal messages from the teacher. This was because due to their ignorance they never perceived them as legitimate way of communication. The book discuses how Mexican families never put much values in education according to Nahari, Lopez and Esquivel (2007). For instance the working parents contribute to life plans and goals which do not make sense on the school expectations of their children. However, to a certain point they believed in education. For instance they knew that a high school drop-out would not be more productive to the society compared to a graduate. Thus the limiting factor to value of education was that education to them was not solution to transform their rigid social/ economic system. As Valdes argues, to the Mexican families education was vital but it never came first. The author of this book also focuses on the idea of bilingualism which is relevant to trainers including their instructions, methods of teaching and progress measurement. In particular the author talks of the process of sociolinguistics which leads to acquisition of language by the students at different levels of study. On the same issue Valdes discuses how education plays a significant role in formulating immigration national policies. This would be of importance to Mexican families. Another idea discussed in this book is the issue of culture in personal development. In examining the background of these families and the good life the family expects is incongruent with what is defined as success in school.
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