La identidad y la practica ‘entrelazadas’ : towards a humanizing pedagogy
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The purpose of this dissertation study was two-fold. First, the study explored how personal and professional experiences shaped three Latina bilingual Maestras’ identities. Secondly, this qualitative study further explored how histories framed a meaning of pedagogy for the Maestras. Presented in case studies, there were four themes that emerged across the three case studies: First, taking on the role of advocate; second, becoming a leader through professional development; third, developing critical thinkers using relevant classroom practices; and fourth, reflexivity for critical consciousness. Data were manually coded, themed and analyzed to answer the following research questions: Theoretical lenses framing this dissertation study include figured worlds and situated identities, critical race theory/Latina critical theory and sociocultural theory to analyze the data gathered through interviews, narratives, classroom and field observations, classroom and teacher artifacts, lessons and informal conversations collected over nine months of study as this dissertation study attempted to understand the findings as complex componentes entrelazados (interwoven components). The data were gathered in the classrooms and school campuses of three elementary schools across two school districts in two South Central Texas cities. The results provided six findings and they are 1) Tracing the positioning of Maestras, 2) Identifying opportunities of autoring self, 3) ¿Qué es ser maestra? What does it mean to be a maestra?, 4) Identity, culture and language: Racialized notions, 5) Taking on the role of advocate and finally, 6) Learning from lived experiences. The research revealed how Maestras’ positionings challenged structures of oppression in school and education in general and how opportunities for critical dialogue can support development of a more critical concientización (consciousness) and perspective, viewed through a social justice lens.