Maestr@s de la Gente : homegrown Latin@ activist educators




Hernandez, Macario Fidel

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This dissertation is a qualitative study that focuses on the lived experiences of five homegrown Latin@ educators, including myself, also known as Maestr@s de la Gente. All the homegrown Latin@ educators share experiences across generations which gives them an ability to understand, empathize, and to more effectively and humanely problem-solve. I employed a hybrid of the critical autoethnographic and ethnographic methods to engage myself and the research partners in pláticas. The voices of these co-researchers move the method from story to storytelling to story making in an organic data collection process. I use the theoretical frameworks of community cultural wealth and the ecologies of knowing as tools for my analysis. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to delve into the lived experiences of homegrown Latin@ educators to answer two research questions: (1) What are the key qualities, traits, skills, and characteristics that emerge from the lived experiences of homegrown Latin@ educators? (2) What lessons can we take from the lived experiences of homegrown Latin@ educators that can inform policy and practice at the multiple ecologies of the self, organization (school), and community? The four themes that emerged from the co-researchers were authentic relationship capacities; community center activism; thug life capital; and homegrown adaptive leadership A thread that ran throughout all the themes was how the research partners utilized their dynamic disposition to meet the need of the stakeholders of the school community. The co-researchers tailored their multiple identities, actions, and resolutions to situations using their evolving homegrown critical consciousness


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