History, Theory, and Methodology

An Introduction

Authored by: Sofia A. Villenas , Douglas E. Foley

Handbook of Latinos and Education

Print publication date:  December  2009
Online publication date:  December  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805858396
eBook ISBN: 9780203866078
Adobe ISBN: 9781135236694


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Latina/o youths along with their families, communities, and advocate scholars have long experienced and tried to explain the challenges of education and schooling in the United States. They have told stories, created songs, provided consejos (advice), and conducted research with narratives and numbers to explain how they have succeeded and how schools have failed them. Recently, the field of Latino education emerged from an impressive accumulation of over half a century of research addressing Latinos/as’ diverse histories and experiences of education and schooling (San Miguel & Donato, this section). Researchers, scholars, and practitioners have addressed and continue to address with great urgency what has become a crisis in Latino educational attainment and achievement (Gándara & Contreras, 2009). They have worked to interrogate educational inequities, to challenge deficit-oriented perspectives about language and culture, and to propose new ways for thinking about school reform and pedagogical practices. For such a task, researchers have contributed to and made great use of all the theoretical and methodological tools at their disposal including developments in critical and cultural studies, Mexican American studies, Puerto Rican and Latino/a studies, women of color and Chicana/Latina feminisms, linguistics and second language acquisition, critical race theory, ethnography, and narrative methodologies to name a few. The chapters in this section demonstrate how the field has merged these tools in unique ways to develop new understandings of Latino educational history and produce innovative conceptual frameworks and methodologies for naming and addressing the critical state of Latino education (Zarate & Conchas, this section; Elenes & Delgado Bernal, this section; Irizarry & Nieto, this section).

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