Teaching Latina/o Children’s Literature in Multicultural Contexts

Theoretical and Pedagogical Possibilities

Authored by: María E. Fránquiz , Carmen Martínez-Roldán , Carmen I. Mercado

Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  April  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415965057
eBook ISBN: 9780203843543
Adobe ISBN: 9781136913570


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Teachers, librarians, and community members have their favorite stories to share with young people; but many adults must find the stories that might matter most to them. Fránquiz, Martínez-Roldán, and Mercado describe the work they do with preservice and inservice teachers, whose identities as Latina and immigrant have been silenced or misrepresented during their school years. Now, as adults, they are asked to look back, to seek stories, poetry, and images in the words of their comadres, in archives, and in recently published children’s literature that will return them to literacies and literature they had lost or forgotten. While deepening and expanding their literary heritage, teachers also learn that literacy development is not located in schools alone, but in all the places where adults create a sense of “us” for themselves and their children’s futures.

Schools of Education in the United States prepare teachers for working with increasingly diverse student populations and thus have a responsibility for providing a coherent approach to educating culturally responsive teachers (Villegas & Lucas, 2002). One way to better prepare preservice and inservice teachers is to create spaces for discussing literary themes that address the authentic challenges, big or small, faced by persons of color in and outside the formal parameters of schools.

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