Negotiating a Sense of Identity in a Foreign Land: Navigating Public School Structures and Practices That Often Conflict With Haitian Culture and Values

Neporcha Cone, Cory Buxton, Okhee Lee, Margarette Mahotiere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


As part of a larger investigation into the educational experiences of Haitians in South Florida, this study explores factors that influence the identity development and academic success of Haitian students. Individual and focus group interviews with Haitian students, parents, and teachers provide the context for studying how pressures from both home and school shape the identity development of Haitian youth. Using a conceptual framework grounded in both structural and cultural analysis of identity formation, we describe three themes that emerged from our analysis: (a) learning as recitation or inquiry, (b) teacher as strict parent or lenient spectator, and (c) peers like me or Americanization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-296
Number of pages34
JournalUrban Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014



  • Haitian students
  • diversity
  • identity
  • schooling
  • teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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