Intersectionality in the Dichotomy of Caring & Complicity by Mexican American Teachers

Luna, Nora Alicia
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Texas Education Review

Via care ethics and culturally relevant pedagogy, this article explores the events observed in fifth grade science classrooms of two Mexican American teachers. The participants were observed expressing dichotomous emotional struggles with their feelings towards their Mexican American students. The struggle consisted of a genuine caring attitude with authentic cariño (caring) for their students revealed in reflections about their concern for their Mexican American students’ future opportunities and a necessity to ensure student success by adhering to a complicity for the hegemonic White dominant culture’s curriculum. This study extends our understanding of what teachers struggle with when teaching Mexican American students on a curriculum that is culturally different from the curriculum their school uses. This study suggests that participants in this ethnographic case study do have authentic cariño and good intentions of providing a care ethic for their Mexican American students, but their actions and ideology reveal the assimilation with the hegemony of the school’s culture of standardization, one that promotes a dominant monolingual ideology.