Problem Identification and Task Engagement Using the LIBRE Problem Solving Tool: A Case Study of Three Bilingual Teacher Candidates

Norma Guerra, Felicia Castro-Villarreal, Nicholas Cheatham, Lorena Claeys


Bilingual Latino students engage multiple languages, cultures and environments as they pursue educational and professional goals. For this underrepresented group, pursuing a post-secondary degree is a “lucha” (fight) to negotiate the complex interplay of historical, educational, and cultural variables and achieve academic success. Because Bilingual Latino teacher success is incumbent upon successfully negotiating and overcoming linguistic, cultural and educational challenges, examination of problem solving and goal setting is necessary to provide insight into the types of barriers and facilitators that this group experiences and the ways in which they overcome obstacles. An in-depth case study of three bilingual teacher candidates illustrates the use of the LIBRE problem-solving tool as a culturally responsive activity involving a sequence of problem identification, analysis, solution generation, and evaluation to facilitate problem resolution. The case studies examined herein illuminate self-reported social-cultural contextual challenges, solutions, goals, and engagement through explicit problem solving and shows the primacy of familia and cultura in these women’s lives, problem-solving, and decision making. Implications for teacher educators and bilingual Latino teacher candidates are discussed.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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