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PAR EntreMundos

A Pedagogy of the Américas


Edited By Jennifer Ayala, Julio Cammarota, Margarita I. Berta-Ávila, Melissa Rivera, Louie F. Rodríguez and María Elena Torre

PAR EntreMundos: A Pedagogy of the Américas challenges the standard narratives of "achievement" to think about how Latinx students can experience an education that forges new possibilities of liberation and justice. Growing Latinx student populations have led to concerns about "assimilating" them into mainstream academic frameworks. This book offers an alternative, decolonizing approach that embraces complex Latinx identities and clears a path toward resisting systems of oppression. Educating Latinx students should involve more than just helping them achieve in school but rather having them recognize their agency to transform the larger structure of education to promote justice-oriented practices. The authors offer a framework for such transformation by honoring their theoretical lineages, proposing a set of guiding principles, and sharing stories about collective social action within and outside Latinx communities. PAR EntreMundos: A Pedagogy of the Américas is a practice of liberation and freedom.

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Chapter 9. PAR EntreMundos: A “Critical” Approach for Latinx Teacher Preparation (Susan Baker / Margarita Berta-Ávila)



PAR EntreMundos

A “Critical” Approach for Latinx Teacher Preparation

Susan Baker and Margarita Berta-Ávila


The glaring mismatch between teachers and students in terms of race and social class background is a major factor in the poor academic achievement of low-income students of color. While this mismatch exists nationwide, it is especially stark in California, a state in which 29% of teachers are White and 73% of students are children of color, and from which a disproportionate number come from low-income households (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2013). The California Latinx population is especially hard hit by this mismatch; in 2011/12, 17% of California teachers were Latinx versus 51% of students (NCES, 2013). The discrepancy between teacher and student background does not show signs of abating; the percentage of children in California public schools has risen 8% over the last 10 years while the percentage of Latinx teachers has risen only 4% during the same time period (DataQuest, 2015).

While it is well documented that White teachers can be effective teachers of students of color (Garza & Garza, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 2009), there is also a great deal of evidence that many White teachers hold deficit views of students of color (Bomer, Dworin, May, & Semingson, 2008; Marx, 2008) and←151 | 152→ that these views contribute to classroom practices that are deleterious for low-income students of color. Teachers of color serving students of color, on the...

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