chapter  11
Constructing Aspirations: The Significance of Community in the Schooling Lives of Children of Immigrants
Pages 17

Canadian research on the experiences and aspirations of children of immigrant parents consistently shows that they tend to have high educational and occupational aspirations (Anisef, Axelrod, Baichman-Anisef, James, & Turrittin, 2000; Dei, Muzzuca, McIsaac, & Zine, 1997; James, 1997; Lam, 1994; see also Schecter & Bayley, 2002). For many of these students, particularly those from working-class backgrounds, these educational aspirations reflect an optimism that seems to ignore the limitations and barriers related to their social, educational, and financial situation. In other words, in spite of their socioeconomic situations, many of these students expect to attend university or aspire to careers that require postsecondary education even though they are in educational streams or levels that do not necessarily qualify them to enter postsecondary institutions.1 Also, the schools some of these students attend typically send very few students to universities or colleges. But despite these limitations, some of these working-class immigrant students actually manage to overcome the social and educational barriers or hurdles and realize their aspiration of attending university.