The complexity of Latino male bilingual teachers’ experiences




Lara, Gilberto Peña

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This dissertation investigated the intersection of gender and ethnicity of Latino male elementary teachers’ experiences in bilingual classrooms through their narratives, experiences and pedagogical practices. Through a LatCrit framework this study seeks to contribute to the literature of teacher research by putting at heart and center the complex experiences of elementary Latino male bilingual teachers in the U.S. teaching field that is female dominated. This work adds to the conversation about gender equity and the inclusion of historically silenced voices. Research on male teachers has addressed gender in the education profession but it has not taken into account the perspectives of males that do not fit a privileged white man lens. Latinos share common characteristics with the public narrative of male teachers yet, they live in a parallel world with intersecting identities that do not necessarily reap the benefits of hegemonic masculinity and male privilege. This work extends the ability of Critical Race Theory to highlight the structural inequities in US society as they relate to Latina/o teachers and their students. While LatCrit addresses issues specific to Latina/os little to no work has looked specifically at the complex situation of male Latino teachers who are aware of the structural inequities that posed challenges on their way to become teachers, persist while they teach, and their ability to create pedagogical spaces in their classrooms for social change. Findings suggest that these three Latino male teachers are subjected to dominant narratives that inform ideologies of the identities that male teachers in elementary settings must take up. Their lived experiences as members of a subordinated group provides them with a wealth of knowledge and intuition to recognize discriminatory structures in society and their schools. In addition, this dissertation highlights the pedagogical spaces created by these teachers where their students’ experiences and knowledge are legitimized by incorporating children’s literature that focused on issues of language, immigration, race, class and gender. As bilingual/bicultural teachers these men enact pedagogical practices that value and privilege the voices and experiences of their Latino/a students, mirroring their students’ experiences and backgrounds.



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