How often are the perspectives of Puerto Rican students recognized, listened to, and taken into account? Not very often, according to this incisive study which deals with the struggles that these students confront in U.S. schools. As active participants in the shifting balances of power, in the dialectic of language, and in the battle over whose knowledge, experience, and voice are recognized and accepted, Puerto Rican students are uniquely aware of the language and power relation. Their efforts at trying to make sense out of and fashion a voice from the multiple and often contradictory realities that comprise their daily existence, however, are misinterpreted or ignored. This book challenges generally accepted perspectives and practices among teachers and calls for new pedagogies that respond to the complex needs of these students.
Special focus is placed on the effect that colonial status has had historically on the political, socioeconomic, and psychological reality of the Puerto Rican people. Through the voices of Puerto Rican children and those of Puerto Rican and other Latino adolescents, the book explores how the past and present intersect in people's lives, inform pedagogy, and shape the conditions and struggles through which students come to know.
About the Author:
CATHERINE E. WALSH is Associate Professor in the School of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is also the coordinator of the New England Multifunctional Resource Center providing training and technical assistance to school districts and organizations working with langauge minority students, parents, and communities. Her edited volume Literacy as Praxis: Culture, Language, and Pedagogy was published in 1990.