Latina teachers’ conversations on cultural identity, language ideologies and humanizing pedagogy
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This paper presents a pedagogical inquiry on the impending need for teachers of underserved students to be conscious of their own cultural identity and language ideologies. The paper also inquires on the possible effect such realization has on teachers’ practices, specifically on their usage of humanizing pedagogy in their classrooms. From a Freirean standpoint three bilingual, Latina teachers were invited to enter into a dialogue in order to identify each other’s cultural identity, language ideologies and to make evident how this may have an impact or how it influences their teaching practices. Using data from interviews and other informal interactions the article examines and argues the need for teachers to enter in this type of reflective and conscientious dialogue in order to learn from each other ways to include and increase humanizing practices in their classrooms. Several themes that surface in this inquiry are 1) the importance of teachers becoming aware of their own cultural identity and language ideologies, 2) the need for formal opportunities in which teachers explore these matters in order to build a community that causes change in the educational system, and 3) the presence, if any, of humanizing practices in these teachers’ classrooms and how they can influence each other to improve the opportunities they provide for their students to succeed.