Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

David Gabbard, Ed.D.

Major Advisor

Scott Willison, Ph.D.


Norm Friesen, Ph.D.


Stanley Steiner, Ph.D.


One out of two emergent bilingual students do not graduate from high school. The majority of emergent bilingual students in the United States consist of Latinos, primarily peoples of Mexican origin. This research documents historical and political issues that affect students of Mexican origin, such as immigration policy and educational policy. On a micro level, this study uses storied accounts of life experiences of “one and a half generation” migrant students from Mexico to illuminate the subjective realities of how students exercise agency to overcome social barriers. These narratives are analyzed with reference to a range of narratological and rhetorical formalisms and categories, drawn from multiple disciplines ranging from literary criticism to psychology. My research uses hermeneutics to interpret themes that emerge from interviews regarding the relationship between the individual and the social and narratology to investigate how people construct storied realities to make meaning of their personal and educational experiences.