Education in the New Latino Diaspora: Policy and the Politics of Identity

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Stanton G. Wortham, Stanton Emerson Fisher Wortham, Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Edmund T. Hamann
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - 264 ˹


The authors describe a new demographic phenomenon: the settlement of Latino families in areas of the United States where previously there has been little Latino presence.This New Latino Diaspora places pressures on host communities, both to develop conceptualizations of Latino newcomers and to provide needed services.These pressures are particularly felt in schools; in some New Latino Diaspora locations the percentage of Latino students in local public schools has risen from zero to 30 or even 50 percent in less than a decade.Latino newcomers, of course, bring their own language and their own cultural conceptions of parenting, education, inter-ethnic relations and the like.

Through case studies of Latino Diaspora communities in Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, Illinois, and Indiana, the eleven chapters in this volume describe what happens when host community conceptions of and policies toward newcomer Latinos meet Latinos' own conceptions. The chapters focus particularly on the processes of educational policy formation and implementation, processes through which host communities and newcomer Latinos struggle to define themselves and to meet the educational needs and opportunities brought by new Latino students.Most schools in the New Latino Diaspora are unsure about what to do with Latino children, and their emergent responses are alternately cruel, uninformed, contradictory, and inspirational.By describing how the challenges of accommodating the New Latino Diaspora are shared across many sites the authors hope to inspire others to develop more sensitive ways of serving Latino Diaspora children and families.

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˹ 155 - Under these state-imposed standards there is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.
˹ 53 - If a man is going to be an American at all let him be so without any qualifying adjectives; and if he is going to be something else, let him drop the word American from his personal description.
˹ 70 - studying through" (cited in Shore and Wright [1997, 14]) ie, tracing the ways in which power creates webs and relations between actors, institutions, and discourses across time and space. Studying through entails multisite ethnography, as the actors in the "policy community" frequently operate in and are informed by different geographic spaces.
˹ 15 - Group Transforming the Culture of Schools: Yupik Eskimo Examples Benham/Heck Culture and Educational Policy in Hawai'i: The Silencing of Native Voices Spring Education and the Rise of the Global Economy Pugach On the Border of Opportunity: Education, Community, and Language at the US -Mexico Line Hones/Cha Educating New Americans: Immigrant Lives and Learning Gabbard, Ed.
˹ 194 - ... an ongoing process of normative cultural production constituted by diverse actors across diverse social and institutional contexts?
˹ 71 - Policies are inherently and unequivocally anthropological phenomena. They can be read by anthropologists in a number of ways: as cultural texts, as classificatory devices with various meanings, as narratives that serve to justify or condemn the present, or as rhetorical devices and discursive formations that function to empower some people and silence others.

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STANTON WORTHAM is a linguistic anthropologist of education and teaches in the Educational Leadersip Division at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education./e

ENRIQUE G. MURILLO, Jr., is a faculty member in the College of Education at California State University San Bernardino./e

EDMUND T. HAMANN is a Research and Evaluation Specialist at the Education Alliance at Brown University./e

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