Latina/o Education and the Reciprocal Relationship between Theory and Practice

Four Theories Informed by the Experiential Knowledge of Marginalized Communities

Authored by: C. Alejandra Elenes , Dolores Delgado Bernal

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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Since many of us come from disenfranchised communities of color, we feel compelled to “look to the bottom,” to involve ourselves in the development of solutions to our people’s problems. A number of us feel that that we cannot afford to adopt the classic detached, ivory tower model of scholarship when so many are suffering, sometimes in our own extended families. We do not believe in praxis instead of theory but that both are essential to our people’s literal and figurative future.

(Wing, 2003, p. 6)

What is considered theory in the dominant academic community is not necessarily what counts as theory for women-of-color…. Necesitamos teorías that will rewrite history using race, class, gender and ethnicity as categories of analysis, theories that cross borders, that blur boundaries— new kinds of theories with new theorizing methods…. And we need to find practical applications for those theories. We need to de-academize theory and to connect the community to the academy.

(Anzaldúa, 1990, pp. xxv–xxvi)

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