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Latinas/os on the East Coast

A Critical Reader

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Edited By Yolanda Medina and Ángeles Donoso Macaya

Latinas/os on the East Coast: A Critical Reader provides a comprehensive overview of established and contemporary research and essays written about communities that represent the Latina/o diaspora on the East Coast of the United States. Collectively, it contributes to the historical, cultural, political, and economic dynamics that affect the Latinas/os’ lived experience of the country. Analyzed through an interdisciplinary lens, this reader offers a critical examination of the policies and the practices that affect the following current and emerging themes and topics: History; Ethnicity and culture; Immigration, transnationalism, and civil rights; Education; Health; Women’s studies; Film and media studies; Queer studies; Literature; Visual and performing arts.
This book is an indispensable resource for scholars, researchers, educators, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as any individual, group, or organization interested in issues that affect Latinas/os in the United States in current times.
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The Family in the Classroom: How a Culturally Valid Learning Community Transforms the Identity of Latina/o College Students

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The Family in the Classroom

How a Culturally Valid Learning Community Transforms the Identity of Latina/o College Students

Rebecca Garte

Introduction

Latina/o students from a wide variety of backgrounds make up a large percentage of those attending community colleges in the northeast United States. The students who attend my classes are hoping to someday become teachers—in many cases with the goal of reaching students much like themselves, with varied ties to countries abroad, varied English proficiency, and generally from families of limited economic means. These students are often highly motivated to achieve, yet at the same time unsure of whether this is possible. To understand this uncertainty, it is important to take a closer look at the sociocultural context surrounding these students than has been done in prior reports of low achievement among Latina/o college students.

From the sociocultural perspective, learning is embedded in everyday practices that involve educating the novice in the socially valued knowledge of his or her particular society (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Rogoff, 2003). The community within which learning takes place must therefore be experienced as personal, a group to which novices are authentically interested in belonging. Cultural Historically Activity Theory (CHAT) considers psychological development to be specific to both the cultural and historical context of individuals or groups. Socially meaningful activity among members of a particular society is the means by which their development occurs. This activity, by creating...

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