This ethnographic case study was conducted in one 12th-grade American Government class at a public high school in a large Mid-western city. The class included 10 Hmong students, and eight of these youth agreed to participate in the study. Multiple data sources were analyzed for themes, patterns, and issues, including classroom observations and document analyses of instructional texts and American Government curriculum utilized in the observed classroom. All eight participants contributed to at least two focus group interviews, and four of these eight students completed two additional individual interviews, acting as focal contributors to this research. Two formal and various informal interviews were also conducted with the classroom teacher regarding her ideas and intentions around citizenship education for her students.Three significant findings emerged in this study. First, the American Government classroom was a space for civic and political identity construction for Hmong youth. Second, the American Government classroom was not the only active political socialization agent; Hmong youth shaped and negotiated their citizenship identities with others including family members, and in other venues like youth clubs and cultural activities. Third, Hmong youth negotiated their citizenship identities in relationship to race, gender, and class. However, as Hmong youth prepared for adult, democratic citizenship, they experienced little opportunity in their American Government course to practice ways to navigate racialization, gender issues, and economic challenge in their personal lives. Ongoing professional development is needed to help social studies educators address critical issues around race, gender, and class in their classrooms and schools, especially for immigrant students.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2014. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Patricia G. Avery. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 284 pages, appendices A-Q.
Simmons, Annette Marie-Miller.
Being Hmong, being American: making sense of U.S. Citizenship.
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