Paradoxical Narratives About Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Struggle Was Real, but so Was the Resilience

Jennifer Green / Journal of Latinos and Education / May 1, 2023

latino college student happy on laptop

Though the COVID-19 pandemic presented ongoing challenges for the entire nation, it wreaked unprecedented havoc on communities of color. Despite the turbulence and upheaval, this exploratory study illustrates that first-gen Latinx college students at an HSI in South Texas persevered and even thrived. Undergraduate teacher candidates participated in focus group sessions to examine their lived experiences as online students from March 2020 to August 2021. Their narratives reveal paradoxical perspectives regarding online learning v. face-to-face instruction and the role of family during this era. More than half the participants were also mothers. Their stories of juggling their own classes while simultaneously caring for and managing online learning for their children provide the audience with a glimpse into the complex lifeworlds of the courageous and resilient students. Implications for university faculty and staff who work with Latinx student mothers and first-generation college students are discussed.