“Building the Plane as We Fly It”: Tesmonios of First-Time Mexican American Studies High School Teachers During the 2021-2022 School Year in Southwest Texas
Mexican American Studies, as a course, was approved by the Texas State Board of Education in 2019. However, there were no provisions on how the course would be implemented or supported by school districts in Texas. Further, in 2021, Texas House Bill 3797 and Senate Bill 3 were passed into law, aiming at the heart of Ethnic Studies - Critical Race Theory (CRT). Utilizing testimonio as methodology and method, I sought to understand the experiences of first-time Mexican American Studies high school teachers implementing Mexican American Studies during the 2021-2022 school year in Southwest Texas. Testimonio interviews with six teachers across five campuses in Southwest Texas shed light on the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities presented to them as the 2021-2022 school year unfolded. Conceptually, this study was guided by Critical Race Theory, Latino/a Critical Race Theory, Culturally Relevant Curriculum, and Culturally Responsive Teaching, and Conocimiento. Four salient themes are addressed in this study: 1.) Building the Plane as we Fly It, 2.) Taking the Wind Out of Our Sails - Damper on the Momentum, 3.) Identity/Conocimiento, and 4.) Dumping Ground. The study concludes that MAS class was systematically marginalized and devalued, but there is pragmatic optimism to remedy the challenges of implementation and pedagogical practices. Recommendations for policy, practice, and future research are advanced.
Ethnic studies|Latin American Studies|Education
Arrieta, Jesse S, "“Building the Plane as We Fly It”: Tesmonios of First-Time Mexican American Studies High School Teachers During the 2021-2022 School Year in Southwest Texas" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29324750.