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Despertando el Ser

Transforming Latino Teachers’ Identities, Consciousness, and Beliefs


Edited By Belinda Bustos Flores and Ellen Riojas Clark

This collection of essays presents a theoretically grounded and research-based process in which the multiple facets of self are explored. While these facets have been studied in the literature using universal theories, Despertando el Ser posits that it is important to generate our own epistemological understandings grounded in the lived experience of Latina/o educators. Moving away from majoritarian perspectives of teacher personal development, using a sociocultural and critical theory kaleidoscopic lens, this book critically examines the notion of Latino teacher identities and other facets of self. Despertando el Ser theorizes that a Latino teacher’s identity is an intersection between the personal and professional selves consisting of ethnic/cultural identities, consciousness, beliefs, and motives for teaching. Presented in Despertando el Ser is an awakening of self as an ethnic/cultural being, exploring positionality and consciousness, and unearthing our beliefs about learning and teaching. Using varied methodologies, this book provides chapters in which the facets of self are uncovered and explored within diverse educational contexts. Each chapter provides questions to assist the reader to engage in critical reflection. This book can be used for teacher candidates, teachers in practice, teacher educators, and researchers.

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Lorena Claeys, Ph.D., Executive Director and Research Associate for the Academy for Teacher Excellence, The University of Texas at San Antonio. Claeys earned a doctorate degree in Culture, Literacy, and Language in the Department of Bicultural Bilingual and Studies in the College of Education and Human Development at UTSA. Research interests include: teacher preparation, retention, and motivation for teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students, and school-community-university collaborations. Claeys has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and has been successfully awarded competitive grants. Recently, the Texas Association for Bilingual Education recognized Dr. Claeys with the 2016 TABE Honoree Award for Higher Education for the many years of commitment to bilingual education and to the linguistically and culturally diverse children of Texas.

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