E D U C A T I O N
Teaching and Learning Implications
Education is a priority on the agenda for Hispanics. Educational opportunities is one reason Hispanics come to the United States. Many parents do not have a good education. Realizing that education can lead out of poverty and enhance their families' earning power, they are willing to sacrifice to give their children a good education.
It is evident that the challenge of the scientific age and educational opportunities are bringing an awareness of educational needs and creating a motivation to enter professional and skilled areas. Although the educational attainment of Hispanics has improved considerably it still remains below that of non-Hispanics. To fully engage Hispanic audiences in the learning process, particular attention should be given to gaining and maintaining trust. Greater acceptance of educational efforts will occur by learners if Hispanic community leaders are involved in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of these educational efforts.
Exhibiting respect for learners is another important aspect of the Hispanic culture. Teachers need to pay individual attention to learners (e.g., greeting each learner, handing papers to each individual rather than passing them down the row, being sensitive to different cultures among Hispanics, writing educational materials at appropriate reading levels). Differences in educational levels, language skills, income levels, and cultural values among Hispanics need to be considered by Extension educators when planning educational programs. Even though Hispanics share the same language, their cultures may vary considerably.
Churches, local libraries, and recreational centers (with child-care arrangements, if needed) may be appropriate places to hold educational programs with Hispanic audiences. Among Hispanics, information is passed mostly by word of mouth. Grocery stores and churches are the main places people meet, visit, and exchange information.