Teaching Mexico : the pedagogy and prose of El Maestro Rural (1932-1940)
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This dissertation analyzes themes of colonization, nationalism, language and culture in the pedagogical magazine El Maestro Rural, published by Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) from 1932 to 1940. This bimonthly magazine was distributed by the federal government to the rural schools throughout Mexico for the use in the school and community. El Maestro Rural was a vehicle for disseminating the national pedagogical practices, theories and philosophies that evolved during the postrevolutionary reconstruction of Mexican society. To that end it served as a tool for the national government to attempt the internal colonization of the rural indigenous communities. To provide context for the education program after 1932 I look at José Vasconcelos’s tenure leading the SEP and the precursor to El Maestro Rural, El Maestro. I explore the way dance and theater were used by El Maestro Rural to create sanctioned uses of indigenous culture by creating spaces for performative citizenship. By looking at legends and short stories from El Maestro Rural, I analyze the ways in which the voice of the local community infiltrated the national dialogue producing a cultural bilingualism which contested the national narrative of progress.