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Diaspora Studies in Education

Toward a Framework for Understanding the Experiences of Transnational Communities


Edited By Rosalie Rolón-Dow and Jason G. Irizarry

The Latino/a diaspora is undoubtedly transforming the demographics and cultural geographies of the United States. Diaspora Studies in Education advances an active use of the concept of «diaspora», focusing on processes that impact the diasporization of the Latino/a population, and more specifically, examining those diasporization processes in the arena of education. Focusing on the education of Puerto Ricans, the second largest Latino/a subgroup, the authors of this volume elucidate themes that are useful not only for those concerned with the education of Puerto Rican youth but also applicable to the study of other diasporic communities. The book is useful as a text in a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including foundations of education, multicultural education, anthropology of education, and introductory courses in Latino and ethnic studies departments.
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A DiaspoRican critical pedagogy: Redefining education for Puerto Rican youth



Many scholars argue that the negative educational experiences of Puerto Rican children in the United States are related to the history of migration of the Puerto Rican people, the colonial status of Puerto Rico, and their experiences as a minoritized1 community in the United States (De Jesús & Rolón-Dow, 2007; Irizarry & Antrop-González, 2007; Nieto, 1998, 2000; Rolón-Dow, 2005). A lack of understanding of the social conditions that promoted the Puerto Rican migration to the United States, of the political relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico, and of the cultural values, beliefs, and practices of the Puerto Rican people, have resulted in educational programs that have failed to address the needs of Puerto Rican students living in the United States.

Educating children from Puerto Rican communities requires teachers who understand the experiences of their students, who maintain high expectations for all students and support their learning, and who are willing to work with students in the process of social change (Irizarry & Antrop-González, 2007). This commitment also involves an understanding of their experiences as members of a transnational diaspora that has historically negotiated identities, political actions, and cultural productions across geographic and cultural borders. Yet, schools in the United States have traditionally underserved Puerto Rican students, in part by ignoring these diaspora experiences.

The DiaspoRican experience (Antrop-González & De Jesús, 2006), which locates Puerto Ricans in a complex social space...

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