Career Choices of Hispanic Female Teachers

Introduction

This research paper aimed at investigating factors leading to low career advancement among Hispanic female teachers. The research though largely descriptive, was both qualitative and quantitative in approach. Ten Hispanic female teachers from Center Hill County in Florida were chosen for interview. The interview sought to obtain their experience to the factors identified as barriers to career advancement. From the interview, the writer was able to gather more barriers in accordance with the respondent’s experience. The chapter will discuss research methodologies that the researcher used to collect and analyze the data, its settings, and sources of the data, tools or instruments used to collect the data, data collection and analysis.

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The factors identified in the research as barriers to career advancement among the Hispanic female teachers included; culture, parental expectations, lack of role models in the society and low mastery of the social and economic constraints. The paper reveals that role models play a major role in mentoring society members towards certain career choices. This probably explains why certain regions lag behind for ages with low numbers of academicians and even in terms of development. The lack becomes a vicious circle running from one generation to the other.

Qualitative Methods

Qualitative research methods used in this paper were mainly critical and interpretive. From the critical aspect, the researcher identified the main influences to careers advancements among the Hispanic female teachers. Each influencing factor was critiqued and to develop facts deemed to empower the t target group break away from the influences. Findings from the interview of the ten female teachers were used to qualitatively draw up a conclusion on each factor deemed a barrier to career advancement among the Hispanic females. The main assumption general to qualitative research will be that the ten lady teachers will represent the views of all Hispanic female teachers (Bryman 1993).

Types of qualitative methods used in this case can also fits the description of a case study, ethnography, grounded theory, and phenomenology. It is a case study because in involves a study of a group of female teachers in regard to the hindrances to academic advancement. The information gathered from them was analyzed and presented as a case. It is also ethnography because it targets females from an ethnic group-Hispanic. According to Armstrong (2001), ethnography is a research that targets “a social group of a community.” Grounded theories seek to formulate a theory from the research data, while conducting the research. In this case, the data used to generate the theory was gathered from the respondents.

Qualitative research was appropriate for this study, the researcher found it effective to explaining the case and to open up more room for research in this area. Unlike quantitative methods which focus on quantifying the factors, qualitative research will move a step further and explain the reasons for this case (Bryman 1993).

The interview questions will try to establish the social, cultural and administrative factors that hinder the Hispanic female teachers from advancing to other careers and instead choose to remain and retire as classroom teachers. The qualitative research method will take the form of interactive interview, for which the research engaged the ten Hispanic female teachers orally on matters affecting their career advancement and consequently causing stagnation. The interview focused on five major domains as relates to their career. The five domains included; career improvement, matters of sexual stalking at work place, matters on culture and ethnicity, mentors, and the way of life in the schools where they are working currently.

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The aim was to establish the relations in the problems experienced by the teachers in their career line, and assess the opportunities they have. The participants were professional teachers between the ages of thirty and forty years. Two of them were married, four were single and the other four were never married. I had an exclusive interview with each one of them in order to establish each participant’s story.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research seeks to quantify the findings of a research process in measurable terms using figures and charts. This makes it easier to interpret the findings based on the figures allocated to each element of the study. This type of research however ignores the descriptive element of the data. This researcher in this paper did not utilize this tool for the research (Bengtsson 1998). A quantitative research aims at determining the quantitative relationship between two or more variables.

The relationship between the variables is expressed in terms of statistical elements such as; mean frequency, standard deviation and correlation. A quantitative research can either be descriptive or experimental. Bengtsson (1998) indicates that a descriptive research is an approach where the variables are measured without alterations. Experimental research involves some adjustments to the variable with an aim to determine how the variable behaves under different stimulus or catalyst.

A descriptive study, also referred to as observational, relies so much on observations recorded from the behavior of the subject (Bengtsson 1998). In this study, since the focus is on only one group-Hispanic female teachers; the researcher applied a type of descriptive study commonly referred to as case series. The advantage with this approach is that it provides a researcher with an opportunity to set a case control. The control factors in this research will be the cultural factors among the Hispanic deemed to cause the female teachers to stagnate in the teaching career.

The case of the Hispanic female career choices was compared with females from other ethnic groups and there was a clear difference in ambitions aspirations and dreams. Moreover, Quantitative data is numerical and provides statistical appraisal of a situation. Qualitative research methodology applies more in scenarios where the researcher is not sure of what to expect. In quantitative research, the researcher is clear about what he or she must be measuring so as to institute the measures (Bryman 1993).This research entailed collection of both qualitative and quantitative data.

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Research Design

The Research design is a descriptive research based on survey design in which a sample was selected from the Hispanic female teacher’s population to represent the area of study (Armstrong 2001). The descriptive research facilitates the general explanation or interpretation of the problem in order to improve the understanding of the problem under study.

Research design determines the essence and flow of a research project. Research design refers to the structure or all the key aspects of a research project. The way a research has been designed has a great bearing on research validity and reliability. When designing a quantitative research, one defines the research problem, develops a sampling plan and plans on how to operationalize given measures as to collect data.

A research design comprises of a number of features such as measures, programs, groups and kind of assignment to groups. A research design also gives special consideration to issues to do with time distribution and how to treat each aspect especially the research respondent groups.

Findings in this research work were based on the interview administered to the ten Hispanic female teachers in regard to the factors that caused them not to advance their careers. As a result, casual comparative study was used to compare the data collected from respondents. Casual comparative method as pointed out by Bengtsson (1998) is effective in cases where a laboratory control is deemed immoral.

The focus of the study was based on the factors that influenced the female teachers in choosing careers. Specific factors that were analyzed were classified into categories touching on cultural aspects, administrative issues, perception, and, parental expectations, lack of proficiency in the medium of instruction, and the social and economic factors.

This study used the results obtained from the interview from the teachers to draw a general conclusion on the factors that affect career choices of the Hispanic female teachers. The samples from the interview revealed a great inclination to culture, socio-economic factors and parental expectations as the main factors that influence career choices among female Hispanics.

Cultural aspects were highly related to lack of role models in the society. Society plays a major role in influencing its member’s career aspirations. Societies with majority members who are academicians tend to continue producing members with high academic aspirations. The young members of the society largely learn and copy the senior members of the society. Hispanic females are less inclined to courses such as Engineering, Computer Science and Medicine; many of them go for teaching and hardly advance.

The population of study was Hispanic female graduate teachers. The teachers had received their degrees in Education related field. The population was ideal because the research aimed at assessing the factors which affects their decision in regard to choices they make pertaining to their teaching careers. The research was quantitative. Quantitative research differs in a big way from qualitative research because it uses quantitative data or numerical measures. Qualitative research focuses more on qualities and captures data that is not numerical in nature. The difference in the kind of data captured also leads to differences in the way data is recorded and analyzed. While quantitative research relies more on statistical methods e.g. regression analysis, qualitative research findings are analyzed basing on relation between qualities.

Qualitative researches are descriptive in nature. Much of this study analyses and describes how the Hispanic female teachers make their choices in regard to their teaching profession. A research design has to be responsive to the situation or context of the research (Bengtsson 1998). This research was based on a research of Hispanics living in Florida. The nature of these firms necessitates a more qualitative study but also validates the use of selected firms for the purposes of study as opposed to focusing on a single firm.

Study Design

This study is a descriptive research based on survey design in which a sample was selected from the target population to represent the area of study. The descriptive research facilitates the general explanation or interpretation of the problem in order to improve the understanding of the problem under study and to make the needed informed decision about the problem.

Research design determines the essence and flow of a research project (Byrman 1993). Research design refers to the structure or all the key aspects of a research project. The way a research has been designed has a great bearing on research validity and reliability. When designing a quantitative research, one defines the research problem, develops a sampling plan and plans on how to operationalize given measures as to collect data. A research design comprises of a number of features such as measures, programs, groups and kind of assignment to groups. A research design also gives special consideration to issues to do with time distribution and how to treat each aspect especially the research respondent groups.

Sampling Design

Sample design describes the techniques which are used to select a probability in regard of a sample that is selected randomly from a given percentage of a total population. Or it can be used to mean a process which is used in selecting a given number of units in a given environment of study in a way that these units gives a picture of a bigger or a larger group of which they have been selected. Sampling design helps the researcher to analyze and study a larger and heterogeneous population. It also serves as an economical means of saving costs.

It has been known that sampling might be costly hence, sampling helps in reducing the study population to a level which can be manageable hence reducing expenses, moreover, sampling saves time at the same time promoting accuracy. However, sampling sometimes is biased or does not give a full picture of a representation and may give false conclusion.

Various methods exists in coming up with a sample design and this includes;

  1. Data collection from probability samples; this kind of a sample is known as purposive sample. It plays a significant role of ensuring that an inference is made about the target universe. Moreover, using this kind of a sample, there are a number of assumptions which have to be factored in regard to representative of collected data and reporting units. However, this method represents a limitation on the inferences which can be drawn in purposive samples if the probability of a given selection is not known.
  2. Data collection of random samples; in relation to this case, there is no assumptions which is made in regard to representative because all representation is needed to ensure the estimate or averages for the total population is factored. Moreover, there are techniques which are used to determine the concise of the estimate. The estimates are usually based on the random sample and only accurate if they have been ascertained to be comprehensive and to date

Steps involved in sample design involve;

  1. .Determining the actual size of the target population
  2. .Deciding on margin of expected error
  3. .Using a mathematical formula to arrive at a given solution.
  4. Computing the proportion of a sample by dividing the outcome by the number 3 of the entire population.

Teachers who participated in the interview were informed well in advance in order to book an appointment with them. This was necessary in order to prepare them in advance and for the interview. Early request to participants is important to avoid last minute disappointment and create an official forum with the participants

Setting and Samples

Sampling refers to the selection of respondents who are the representatives of the total population. The research lays down the number of items to be included in the sample. In this study, stratified random sampling will be used. This is because the total target population from which the sample will be drawn does not constitute a homogenous population. This will ensure an elaborate and sufficient data is put into consideration.

The sub-populations are more homogenous than the total population. This sub-population is called strata. A suitable sample size will be selected from a section of Hispanic teachers to ensure acceptable results are realized from the study.

The researcher collected data from 10 respondents drawn from the ten different schools selected for this study. To get the responses on this study, the researcher interviewed 10 students to clearly analyze the factor which contributes to the Hispanic choices affecting their careers. The interview was comprised of three parts. Part one was made up of personal questions such as, gender, age and ethnicity. Part two tried to get information about the responded characteristics about her profession as it is related to her career, specifically teaching career. The interview questions administered were open-ended and fixed. Part three comprised of career related questions; the questions were linked on the respondent factors which lead her to choose their current career. The results were then analyzed using the following criteria: (a) Influence, (b) smaller influence (c) medium influence (d) high influence and lastly (e) extreme influence.

After the respondents were through with interview, it was then part three. Part three consisted of a team of 6 experts reviewed and screened the questionnaires contents to ensure that clarity was present.

Results and Findings

The result shows that when the candidates enrolled in their first teaching related course, they did not feel the probability effect that they would one day select a teaching related career. But people of different colours encouraged and increased the respondent in pursuing teaching related career.

It was more common for the respondent to pursue a teaching career if their father’s was a teacher related.the parent’s level of education did not have impact in a respondent choice of a teaching career. Furthermore, job opportunities and retirement plan played an important role in respondent choice of career selection.

Interview Questions to determine the career choice for female Hispanic teachers

Questions

  1. What is your Name?
  2. What is your Age?
  3. What is your Ethnicity?
  4. What is most important that you like about your career:
  5. What do you don’t like about your career?
  6. What motivates you to work?
  7. If you were given a choice, which profession would you love to do
  8. What motivated you to choose your current career?
  9. A part from working as a teacher, what else makes you happy?

Data collection and Analysis

Data analysis is the process of sifting through available data, compiling and comparing so as to establish trends that form basis for research conclusions. The way data is analyzed is critical towards arriving at valid conclusions. The data collection instruments employed in the research work are questionnaires and interviews. A personal interview was mainly conducted in this research. Moreover, this was universal to major schools where the population of Hispanics female teachers was high. Data analysis is the process of sifting through available data, compiling and comparing so as to establish trends that form basis for research conclusions (Crotty 1998). The way data is analyzed is critical towards arriving at valid conclusions.

There are two broad categories of research i.e. qualitative and quantitative research. The big difference between qualitative and quantitative research is in the kind of data they handle. Qualitative data handles qualitative data (Crotty 1998). Qualitative data captures relations or qualities. Qualitative research involves analysis of words and other non numerical correlates or links (Bryman 1993).The data collected was processed and presented and analyzed. The descriptive statistics have been known to successfully communicate the findings.

Qualitative Tools Analysis

There exists a big difference between qualitative and quantitative research is in the kind of data they handle. Qualitative data handles qualitative data. Qualitative data captures relations or qualities. Qualitative research involves analysis of words and other non numerical correlates or links (Bryman 1993). Qualitative is subjective and hence its methodology of data and information collection it’s mainly in form of individuals, groups and vigorous interviews. Qualitative research has a nature of open-ended and explanatory direction.

When it is carried within a limited group of people in depth interview is known to go perform well in this kind of environment. Crotty (1998) illustrates that qualitative research involves participants being asked to respond to common and general questions, and the moderator probes the responses in order to come up with a conclusive and definition of people’s opinion, view and feelings in relation to the topic under discussion, and to assess the level of agreement within the group (crotty,1991,p.97).

Qualitative research is cost effective than other research methods and it has been proofed to be effective and reliable in acquiring important information about people in relation to their communication needs and the responses, views in regard to a specific need. It is often a choice which is left when a quantitative measurement is not likely to be required.

The findings emanating from this research is directly linked upon the skills, sensitivity and the experience of the moderator. Qualitative research methodology applies more in situations where the researcher is not sure of what to expect. Qualitative data is usually in the form of pictures, words or objects. And that the researchers remain objectively focused on the subject matter of the study problem.

Quantitative Tools Analysis

Bryman (1993) notes that any measurement should be objective moreover, it should be quantitative and valid statistically. Quantitative data is numerical and provides statistical appraisal of a situation. In addition, the researcher in quantitative research is clear about what he or she must be measuring so as to institute the measures (Bryman 1993).

Quantitative research is important in classifying important features by either involving counting or constructing statistical model to help explain the concept. It helps researchers to know and understand clearly in advance what he or she is looking for and what to expect. It fore plan the aspects concerning a given study and ensures that it is designed first before actual data is collected. Moreover, this type of research however ignores the descriptive element of the data. This researcher in this paper did not utilize this tool for the research. A quantitative research aims at determining the quantitative relationship between two or more variables. It mainly utilizes the use of questionnaires or other equipments which are used to collect data of numerical nature.

Dess and Taylor (2004) notes that quantitative methods involves collection of figures and statistics as a form of data, this data is precise because it uses accurate surveys and questionnaires and that it plays an important role in testing hypothesis because is self sufficient. However, the data collected might miss contextual facet and that researchers mainly tend to focus on the objective missing the big subject matter (Dess & Taylor 2004). Quantitative research approach ensures that variables are measured without alterations. Experimental research involves some adjustments to the variable with an aim to determine how the variable behaves under different stimulus or catalyst.

A descriptive study, also referred to as observational, relies so much on observations recorded from the behavior of the subject. In this study, since the focus is on only one group-Hispanic female teachers; the researcher applied a type of descriptive study commonly referred to as case series. The advantage with this approach is that it provides a researcher with an opportunity to set a case control. The control factors in this research will be the cultural factors among the Hispanic deemed to cause the female teachers to stagnate in the teaching career.

The case of the Hispanic female career choices was compared with females from other ethnic groups and there was a clear difference in ambitions aspirations and dreams.

Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative methods

The difference that arises between qualitative and quantitative research is in the kind of data they handle. Qualitative data handles qualitative data. Qualitative data captures relations or qualities. Qualitative research involves analysis of words and other non numerical correlates or links (Bryman 1993). Quantitative data is numerical and provides statistical appraisal of a situation. Qualitative research methodology applies more in scenarios where the researcher is not sure of what to expect.

In quantitative research, the researcher is clear about what he or she must be measuring so as to institute the measures (Bryman 1993).furthermore, Quantitative research differs in a big way from qualitative research because it uses quantitative data or numerical measures (Crotty 1998). Qualitative research focuses more on qualities and captures data that is not numerical in nature. The difference in the kind of data captured also leads to differences in the way data is recorded and analyzed. While quantitative research relies more on statistical methods e.g. regression analysis, qualitative research findings are analyzed basing on relation between qualities.

The choice of Hispanic teachers career merit the application of both Qualitative and quantitative approach of data collection and analysis researches are descriptive in nature. The study analyses and describes relations on the factors which face the Hispanic teachers in staying only in one profession and yet we have a variety of opportunities in the country. A research design has to be responsive to the situation or context of the research (Bratton 2001). The research the factors shaping Hispanics career choices necessitates a more qualitative study but also validates the use of selected schools for the purposes of study as opposed to focusing on a single school.

Instrumentation and Materials

The main instruments used for data collection comprised of formal interview questions typed and printed prior to the interview. The questions were designed in line with the research questions to capture the objectives of the research. The research instruments were first tested with in the field with a fictitious sample before being used to extract information from the actual respondents.

This was done to measure both the validity and reliability of the tools prior to the actual data collection process.

The field results obtained prior to the actual results was used as benchmarks during the planning process. The researcher was able to develop an insight to the challenges to expect in during the interview process and in analyzing the data. The data was also important in allocating the possible time that would be required for collection and analysis of the data. The field test provided a guideline on what to include and what to eliminate from the actual research.

Protection of Human Findings

Since this research relied on information obtained from an interview, it was important to promise and ensure confidentiality to the respondents. The interview begged some private information from respondents of which it would be unethical to reveal. In this case, coding was important to hide the identity of the respondents. This included avoiding use of actual names, instead, the researcher assigned arbitrary codes to represent the identity of the respondent.

The information obtained from the ten respondents was generalized to the whole population and did not in a way implicate the respondents. Respondents were only used as samples from the whole. Their views were did not connote their character or personality, the views were represented the experience of the respondents in regard to the factors outlined in this study.

Full acknowledgement of information cited from secondary sources was done through appropriate in-text citation and references. This was in order to avoid unauthorized use of other people’s ideas without acknowledging. Unauthorized use of other people’s ideas amounts to infringing on copyrighted information which is both unethical and illegal.

Dissemination of Findings

The aim of the researcher is that the information contained in this research will reach out to as many people as possible. It is also intended that the findings of this research work will find usefulness in to the society and especially in changing the perception of the Hispanic female teachers towards certain careers.

This can only be realized if the information is disseminated to the public. The researcher will seek various forums in to send out a loud message to the targeted recipients. The targeted forums include; seminars, academic journals, and organized rallies. The researcher also further recommends more research on this topic to come up with more findings from the topic.

The research will seek to present the research findings in seminars related to education. Presentation of this information is meant to dispel the myths largely held by Hispanic female teachers regarding career choices and instead encourage them to embrace the facts as presented in this research. Education seminars organized by learning institutions, government and non-profit organizations bring together various policy makers who need to be informed about the factors that affect career choices by different groups of people. This enables them to draw appropriate plans to avert such problems.

Academic journals are also read widely by academic policy makers. They rely on findings published in such journals to respond to various issues affecting academics. Since this research has outlined one of the problems affecting academic achievement among the group of Hispanic females, it will be important that the information is published in the journals so that the policy makers can access and respond to it.

Reference List

Armstrong, M. (2001). A Handbook of Human Resource Management. 10th Ed. London: Kogan Page.

Bengtsson, M. (1998). Climates of Competition. London: Routledge.

Bratton, J. & Gold, J. (2001). Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice.2nd Ed. New York: Routledge.

Bryman, A. (1993). Quantity and Quality in Social Research. London: Unwin & Hyman.

Crotty, M. (1998). The Foundations of Social Research, London: Sage Publications.

Dess, G. G. & Taylor, M. L. (2004). Strategic Management: Creating Competitive Advantages, 2nd Ed.,London: McGraw Hill.

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