In February 2007,
Caitlin Daniel will return to Bolivia, where she spent her
junior year, to study the parental involvement among the country's
Aymara in their children’s schools. The Aymara are an
indigenous population who have increasingly moved to the country’s
cities and enrolled their children in public schools. Daniel
will live in El Alto, a city of about 850,000.
been interested in education since high school,” says
Daniel, “but became fascinated by issues in indigenous
education when I took a J-term course in Lamas, Peru. Hoping
to deepen my knowledge about this topic, I chose to study
in La Paz, Bolivia, during my junior year.”
Daniel will specifically
explore the relationships between indigenous families and
school teachers and administrators. “As a sociology
major at Smith, I had read about how differences in parent
culture and school culture sometimes do not mesh,” she
explains, “creating a disconnect that can negatively
and differentially affect students of different class backgrounds.”
Through observation and interviews with parents and school
personnel, Daniel will compile data that may assist El Alto
schools in educating their students.
and sociologists have done substantial research about indigenous
education in rural areas, but few researchers have investigated
indigenous participants in urban education,” says Daniel.
“I will share my research with Bolivians who work in
education and educational policy so that they can put any
relevant findings into practice.”
When she returns,
Daniel plans to enroll in graduate school to study sociology
with foci on class and education.