Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2019


The purpose of this study is to identify how immigrant/first-generation teacher populations in the United States apply their cultures and identities to the education of the immigrant/first-generation students that they teach. This study also aims to analyze the specific charter school management system, Ednovate, and how its innovative mission and model have led to its high rates of student success. Culture and identity are two significant factors in a student’s educational experience, as the school system is a critical site for developing identity in children. In this study, eight members of faculty and staff from the Ednovate charter school system in Orange and Los Angeles counties were interviewed and asked to describe which parts of their immigrant experiences in the United States shaped their own educations and how these experiences and their own cultures in turn influence their respective teaching habits. With the growing number of immigrants in the United States, immigrant teachers make up a significant percentage of the teacher population and are some of the most profound influencers of a student’s sense of identity and community belonging. Culture and education are closely related, as cultural transmission occurs in classrooms and schools, and schools can be important sites of cultural structures. The results of this study demonstrate that through the use of storytelling, celebrating culture in education, and cutting-edge educational models, schools can become centers of diversity, cultural appreciation, and student success.