Summer 2009

SOCS 632
Theories of Education, Models of Practice: Latino Students

Melendez,Marina Juliana

06/29/2009 - 07/31/2009
Tuesday & Thursday 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 421

Which educational practices succeed, and why? Contemporary educational theories analyze the roles of culture and power in order to explore why some students stay in school and college but others, especially those of marginalized ethnic groups, do not. Using Latino students as our case study, we will investigate success stories, looking at individual examples, such as two Mexican-American students--Manny, an involuntary immigrant born in the United States, and Carla, a voluntary immigrant--who struggled in public schools and found strategies to succeed, as well as programs that have implemented bicultural education theory into practice, such as Pacific Oaks College. Our focus will be to analyze the theoretical implications of these successful practices, to analyze the question of why they succeed (or to argue that they do not), as well as to understand the contemporary practice of multicultural education in the U.S.

Multicultural education challenges common assumptions about cognition and the learning process. The common educational models used in American public education are failing the youngest and fastest growing ethnic group: more than one in three Latinos drops out of high school, and only one in ten graduates from college. Critical pedagogists such as Darder offer pedagogical structures such as biculturalism, and cultural democracy, that are counter to colonial educational practices and present a successful model for a more just and democratic educational experience for Latinos and other marginal groups of students in public schools in the United States. The course will also review the historical and cultural presence of the different groups of Latinos and their relationship to public schooling in the United States. Themes such as the politics of language, constructing Latina(o) identities, and cultural democracy and schooling will be explored.

Readings include A. Darder, Culture and Power in the Classroom: A Critical Foundation for Bicultural Education (1991), Darder, Torres, and Gutierrez, Latinos and Education: A Critical Reader (1997), and M. Espinoza-Herold, Issues in Latino Education: Race, School Climate, and the Politics of Academic Success (2003).

Students are responsible for a biographical paper, 2-3 response papers, one research paper (topic to be determined), class participation, small group assignments, and facilitation of other readings.

Course tuition: $2022

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus


Marina Melendez (B.A., M.A.L.S., Wesleyan University; Ph.D., University of Connecticut) is Dean for the class of 2010. She is also adjunct faculty at Saint Joseph College.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Antonia Darder, CULTER AND POWER IN THE CLASSROOM: A CRITICAL FOUNDATION FOR BICULTURAL EDUCATION (Bergin & Garvey), Paperback

Antonia Darder, LATINOS AND EDUCATION: A CRITICAL READER (Routledge), Paperback

Mariella Espinoza-Herold, ISSUES IN LATINO EDUCATION: RACE, SCHOOL CLIMATE, AND THE POLITICS OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS (Pearson Education Group, Inc.), Paperback

READING MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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