Academia Cuauhtli teachers : additive teaching in subtractive contexts




Rubio, Brenda

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Having been deprived of their languages, cultures, and community-based identities in the process of getting schooled, teachers of color must not only cope with the cumulative and damaging, impacts of subtractive schooling in their own lives, but they must also enter educational contexts as professionals where the same logic of cultural and linguistic subtraction exists, if not altogether thrives. At the same time, the desire to establish equitable and inclusive schooling policies and practices for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations gets treated as separate discourses from those of teachers of color, failing to address how these intersect in space and time. This qualitative study uses oral history methods, to examine the prior personal and professional schooling experiences of nine bilingual and dual-language educators who teach in a fourth- and fifth grade Saturday Academy that is part of a community-based language and cultural revitalization project in Central Texas (Academia Cuauhtli). Accordingly, this study also examined through the teacher narratives, the impact of their participation in the Saturday academy in both their personal and professional lives. Throughout their personal and early professional schooling experiences, the bilingual educators in this study reported feeling a need to hide their own cultural and linguistic resources within the traditional school space, due to a continued feeling of alienation and marginality. They described Academia Cuauhlti as a space where they could find reprieve from these subtractive schooling structures and found empowerment for themselves as well as for their students, families and communities. This study concludes with implications for teacher preparation, teacher supports, and the need for culturally relevant education.


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