WWW: An Interactive “Mural-Venture” through Nicaragua!

Sandinista.muralStanford University’s creative learning resource, Expressions of Central America, is a fantastic and organized way for k-12 teachers of all ages and disciplines to find a way of delving into the topic of Central American culture, history and society via art and interactive multimedia.  By choosing a country’s link at the top of the home page, you can enter into a collection of teacher’s resources and student activities that specialize in the topics of that country.  Here today, we will look at the Expressions of Nicaragua page.

Nicaragua is an important nation geopolitically, not only because of its robust collection of natural resources, but also its containing coastline on both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.  Along with Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras and Guatemala, Nicaragua has been the subject of intended plans to construct a canal since long before the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914 (the Central American Map Puzzle is a wonderful student activity to display this important geographical and commercial feature of the Central American Isthmus).  However, because of the giant Lake Nicaragua, the canal route through this nation is particularly enticing, and just recently has reappeared in national news as a Chinese company begins planning a new canal project, which I wrote about in on the Latin American Data Base’s (LADB) blog last month

Entering into the Teacher’s Corner you will see the student activity entitled Mural-Venture.  Here, you will find a well-organized teaching resource including lesson plans, group activities, and historical overview.  Once reviewed, you can lead your students to the actual activity through the Student Inter-Activities under the link for The Mural-Venture Student Activity.  Here, students can take an interactive, multimedia tour.  Students will not only learn about important aspects of what it means to grow up in Nicaragua, but they will also be able to see how their artistic styles of murals and graffiti art compare to those we see in our own American cities and towns.  They will see the political and social nature of these murals and gain an understanding of how connected Nicaraguan culture, politics and history is to our own, and its connection to the global network of trade that impacts us all.

I hope you and your students enjoy this vibrant and well-organized website.  It is an amazing resource full of information catered to learning culture through art.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!!

p.s. If you check out the LADB blog and are interested in learning more about this type of information, know that all K-12 teachers can register to receive free access to the full LADB digest and archive!)

- Jake Sandler

Image: “Sandanista Mural” by Wikimedia Commons user Jack Child

En la Clase: Literature for Teaching about Las Posadas

Diego Rivera Las Posadas

I realize it’s still November, but based on our search statistics, many of you are already looking for books, lesson plans and resources for teaching about Las Posadas.  I’m impressed! You all are far more organized than I was when I was in the classroom.  In previous posts on Día de los Muertos we’ve discussed our philosophy for how to approach teaching about cultural celebrations and traditions in a way that’s authentic and meaningful.  Many of those same ideas are relevant here as well.

This time of year was always one of my favorites times to be in the classroom because the possibilities for engaging and interesting lessons were endless.  When I taught third grade, at the beginning of each December I began a unit on three winter celebrations: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Las Posadas.  As a child, I remember talking about Hanukkah in school, but the extent of what we learned seemed to be limited to eating latkes and learning a song and game about dreidels.  I wanted to go beyond that.  I wanted my students to have a deeper understanding of cultural traditions that may be different from the ones they or their families personally observe.

I checked out children’s fiction and non-fiction literature on each celebration.  From these books and other resources we learned the history of each celebration: when, where and why it began; the traditional language of that celebration; and the traditions that continued to be celebrated each year. This unit became a gold-mine for addressing multiple standards.  I was able to meet a number of social studies, geography, literacy and cultural competency standards in just a few weeks.  A timeline and world map were major components of the unit.

I never had any issues or complaints during this unit because I think it was clear we were approaching this as a means to gain cultural knowledge and become culturally competent learners.  While these celebrations are much more than cultural knowledge to those who observe them, my purpose was to share some of the diversity of the world with my students, so that they would be able to acknowledge and respect difference when they experienced it in the world outside our classroom.

Over the next month, Lorraine and I will be sharing posts that highlight resources you can implement in your classroom as you finish out 2014 with your students.  In today’s En la Clase, I’m highlighting books for teaching about Las Posadas.  If you used any of our GLAD resources for teaching about Día de los Muertos, this could be a great follow-up by using the chants on traditions, adding Las Posadas to the class Process Grid on celebrations, or creating a Big Book on Winter Celebrations (the link will take you to our example on Día de los Muertos).  Connecting this tradition to others that you’ve studied is one more way to ensure that students see it as important and relevant knowledge.

Here’s a simple approach to a lesson plan for teaching about Las Posadas.

  • Read one of the books listed below each day for a week.  As you read each book, have the class chart the information you’re learning about Las Posadas–things like when, where and why the tradition originated, how is it observed, where it is observed today, and interesting facts about the tradition. If you’re going to use a Process Grid make sure the information you focus on here is the same that you’ll ask students to fill in on the chart
  • Choose a writing activity to assess student’s understanding of the celebration.  There are lots of options here.  You could write a class Big Book on Las Posadas.  I’m always a proponent of using poetry in the classroom.  Acrostic poetry or 5 Senses Poetry would be great activities (again, I’ve linked to our Día de los Muertos lesson plans, but these are easily adaptable to Las Posadas).  Students could also write an essay, comparing how their families observe Christmas, Hanukkah or another winter celebration with the Las Posadas celebration.
  • Choose an art activity to close the unit.  You may want to explain this activity to students once they’ve gotten started on the writing activity.  That way if students are waiting to meet with you to discuss the draft of their writing, they can begin the art activity.  In my next post, I’ll share some art activities  and other online resources that can be used. There’s just too much information to put it all in one post!

A great starting place is MommyMaestra’s post on teaching about Las Posadas.  Her post is full of great information and links to help you teach about Las Posadas.  I absolutely loved her reflection on her own experience and why she wants to share this with her children:

“Growing up I attended countless posadas. Some were hosted by my family, and the rest by friends. Even now, some 20 (30?!?!) years later, I can still remember the excitement and the anticipation that each one created within me. I always chose to be a part of the outside group, one of the “peregrinos” asking for shelter. Standing outside in the cold with my boots pinching my feet, I would shiver and watch my breath floating away on their frigid air. Sometimes I would stand with a candle clutched in my hand or maybe holding the peregrinos that my grandmother fiercely guarded all year long, stored carefully in a box, only to be taken out and lovingly prepared for their important role in our yearly celebrations.

It grieves me that I cannot share this tradition with my own children now. Distance and circumstance can be bitter bedfellows. But I can still share my own childhood experiences with them through stories and in other ways that I piece together. . .”

The Night of Las PosadasTomie DePaola’s book The Night of Las Posadas is one of the more well known children’s books about the tradition.  It’s a beautiful book:

“Sister Angie has organized the celebration of Las Posadas for many years, in which the people of Santa Fe re-enact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter on the night Jesus was born. This year’s performance promises to be very special. Sister Angie’s niece Lupe and Lupe’s husband, Roberto, are to play the parts of Mary and Joseph. But on the night of the celebration, a snowstorm hits and Lupe and Roberto’s car breaks down on their way into town. And to make matters worse, Sister Angie is home sick with the flu. It seems that only a miracle will be able to save Las Posadas.”

A great early elementary lesson plan based on the book (and linked to common core standards) is available here.

There are also lots of other great books to bring into your classroom.  We’ve mentioned some of these in posts from past years, but I wanted to compile them all into one list for you.

Pedro The Angel of Olvera StreetCarlos Light the FarolitoLas Posadas A Christmas StoryUno Dos Tres PosadaNine Days to Christmas

Pedro: The Angel of Olvera Street by Leo Polti is an much older book, a Caldecott Honor book originally published in 1948. The words and illustrations tell the story of the Las Posadas Christmas tradition of Los Angeles that continues today.

Carlos, Light the Farolito by Jean Ciavonne and Donna Clair tells La Posada from the view of the Las Posadas_Page_1innkeeper (i.e. the house where on the 9th day, Mary and Joseph can finally take shelter). Carlos’ grandpa always plays the role of the innkeeper…but when his grandfather isn’t home as the procession comes to his door, Carlos must take on the role of the innkeeper. Richly illustrated with quick and engaging text, this book is sure to delight your K-2nd graders.

Las Posadas_Page_2Las Posadas: A Christmas Story by James Fraser and Nick de Grazia is also an older book, originally published in 1963.  With its simple text and illustrations its perfect for our youngest students or as an independent reading for slightly older students.



Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada! by Virginia Kroll and Loretta Lopez is a very fun and lively bilingual counting book centered around La Posada. Preschoolers will love to interact with the teacher on this book as they say, “One!” when you say “Uno!”

Nine Days to Christmas by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida is a Caldecott Medal winner from Inside Nine Days to Christmas1960.  While a picture book, it has a significant amount of text, so it will likely take more than a day to use for a read aloud. With beautiful illustrations, the book tells the story of Ceci’s first Christmas posada party and piñata, bringing her Mexican culture to life.

Las Posadas: An Hispanic Christmas Celebration by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith and Lawrence Migdale is a great non-fiction photo-essay on how the celebration is observed in a small New Mexico town.

While not entirely about Las Posadas, Rio Grande Stories by Carolyn Meyer is a compilation of stories about New Mexican culture and popular practices. Though all the stories are written by Meyer, the premise is that they were written by a classroom of kids, thus each story has a different “author.” Chapter 9 is all about the holidays in New Mexico: from Las Posadas, to Luminarias, to Bizcochitos. This book is easy to read for 5th graders and up, or great for a read aloud with younger students.

I know this was a longer post than usual, but I hope all the information was helpful.  I’ll follow-up with another post focusing on art and online resources that you can use in the classroom.

Image: Diego Rivera Mural “Niños Pidiendo Posadas” (1953)


¡Mira, Look!: Talking with Mother Earth/Hablando con madre tierra: Poems/Poemas


Talking With Mother EarthNovember is Native American Heritage Month, an opportune time for students to reflect upon the history of Native Americans and indigenous peoples around the world, and to learn about their cultures. Last week I presented a book that inspires students to rethink the story of Columbus from the point of view of the Taino people. This week, I present a book that explores indigenous peoples in a broader sense with a focus on their relationship to nature.

Talking with Mother Earth/Hablando con madre tierra: Poems/Poemas (ages 5-8), written by Jorge Argueta and illustrated by Lucia Angela Pérez, is a bilingual poetry book about a boy who learns self-acceptance through his growing connection with Mother Earth.

Here is a description from Goodreads:Talking with mother earth_Cover Image

Tetl’s skin is brown, his eyes are black, and his hair is long. He is different from the other children, whose taunts wound him deeply, leaving him confused and afraid. But Tetl’s grandmother knows the ancient teachings of their Aztec ancestors, and how they viewed the earth as alive with sacred meaning. With her help, he learns to listen to the mountains, wind, corn, and stones. Tetl’s journey from self-doubt to proud acceptance of his Nahuatl heritage is told in a series of powerful poems, beautifully expressed in both English and Spanish. Vivid illustrations celebrate nature’s redemptive powers, offering a perfect complement to the poignant story.

The protagonist exhiTalking with mother earth_Aguabits pride in his identity, though he is discriminated because of it. He says, “I am descended from the Aztecs and like them I wear feathers of beautiful birds to protect me from the bad words and the looks that come my way from some people because I am Indian.” He asserts that though everyone knows him as Jorge, he prefers his Nahuatl name given to him by his grandmother. Ancestors are a reoccurring theme throughout the poems; they become a vehicle of wisdom through which Tetl learns about the natural world. Talking with mother earth_Me Dice

As the boy is taunted for being Indian, he finds peace and solace through the blessings of Mother Earth. In the poem “Mother Earth Tells Me”, it says, “Mother Earth tells me, do not be sad anymore, my Indian boy. You are as beautiful as the wind./The sun, the trees, the ocean and the stars are for you./So are the mountains the flowers the moon and the little drops of dew…./All this I give you, my son. All my love is yours. You just be happy.”

The book includes bitstalking with mother earth_Wind of knowledge pertaining to agriculture and includes important indigenous symbols of the natural world, including the sacredness of stones, water, wind, the sun, corn, animals, and more. It ends with a poem titled “Prayer” which sums up how many indigenous cultures hold a profound respect and appreciation for the natural world. The illustrations celebrate Mother Earth as they beautifully reflect symbols of the natural world through pages full of deep, vibrant colors.

This book is a wonderful tool for introducing students indigenous communities and exploring the way that many such cultures have strong spiritual ties with nature. As a bilingual poetry book, it teaches Spanish vocabulary in a creative and artistic way, allowing students to learn by reading the two languages side by side.

The author, Argueta, is a celebrated Salvadoran poet and writer. In an interview with Poetry for Children, he speaks about growing up in rural El Salvador and the role poetry played in his childhood. Stay tuned in December for a review of another of Argueta’s books, Tamalitos: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem.

Given how much we appreciate this book, we imagine that your students will enjoy it even more so. There are several tactics you can use to introduce it to your class, including focusing on the history of indigenous people, the poetic approach, or the emphasis on Mother Earth and natural resources. Below are a few ideas to expand these concepts at an adult-level, as well as classroom suggestions for how to explore them with younger students.


GoodLatinos-in-Kid-Lit for: Gathering Books COYRL Challenge 2014 and Latin@s in Kids Lit Reading Challenge 2014



Images: Modified from Talking with Mother Earth/Hablando con madre tierra: Poems/Poemas illustrations, Illustrator: Lucia Angela Pérez

WWW: California, Mexico and ‘America’s Pastime’

Baseball in Oaxaca, MexicoFollowing up on this week’s Next Good Read on Matt de la Peña’s Mexican WhiteBoy, about a Mexican-American teenager in San Diego (with a hidden talent to throw a ninety-five mile per hour fastball) who struggles  to construct his own identity in the face of his community’s racial barriers, I’d like to focus this week’s post on the history of California, Mexico and Mexican-Americans in the early development of Major League Baseball, a sport widely regarded as “America’s” pastime.

Due to baseball’s central position in the history of American popular culture, the official online Baseball Almanac has taken great pains over the years to compile a thorough collection of useful statistics regarding the league.  Among this data is a compendium of information identifying the birthplaces and nationalities of the players.  Browsing this database leads quickly to the realization that a significant percentage of players in Major League Baseball in the USA are of Mexican or Mexican-American descent.

This realization is a testament to how baseball has held a uniquely important position in border states through the 20th century, particularly in southern California and northern Mexico.To date, for instance, California has produced more baseball players than any other state at 2,102, almost double the next highest, Pennsylvania at 1,375.

Then, if we follow this next link to a list of birthplace by U.S. state according to the year, we see that California was not always such a baseball powerhouse, as it rose to prominence only during the second half of the 20th century.  No wonder that in 1958 the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants literally picked up and moved to the west, and by 1968 three more teams followed (San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics and the Anaheim Angels), giving California the most professional teams in one sport in a single state.

It is interesting to note that none of the five teams chose to utilize a Spanish team-name, except for in San Diego, the city closest to the border.  Despite Mexican and Mexican-American influence in the development of American’s pastime, Hispanic players endured explicit racism, and (as shown in Mexican WhiteBoy) still do today.

Mexican nationality may be far more underrepresented in major league baseball than these statistics even show, due to so many American players of Mexican descent whose nationality only shows U.S.  For instance, one of baseball’s most prominent heroes, Ted Williams, was half-Mexican, something most American baseball fans still do not know. Mel Almada was the first Mexican born player to break into the big leagues in 1933, 14 years before Jackie Robinson played his debut game.

All of this is food for thought as we delve more deeply into our featured book for this month, Mexican WhiteBoy.  We’ll continue the conversation in a few weeks when Lorraine highlights the book’s author, Matt de la Peña. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

Image: Original photograph taken at a Municipal League baseball game in Juchitan, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Native American Heritage Month: 10 Children’s Books By Native Writers


As a follow up to yesterday’s post, I wanted to share the open book’s post from yesterday. It has great suggestions for literature written by Native writers that you could use in the classroom. We hope you’ll check it out!

Originally posted on the open book:

November is Native American Heritage Month! Native American Heritage Month evolved from the efforts of various individuals at the turn of the 20th century who tried to get a day of recognition for Native Americans. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a resolution that appointed November as Native American Heritage Month. You can learn more about Native American Heritage Month here.

For many years, Native people were silenced and their stories were set aside, hidden, or drowned out. That’s why it’s especially important to read stories about Native characters, told in Native voices. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with these great books by Native writers:


Quiet Hero by S.D. Nelson – Ira Hayes grew up on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona. When he was in his late teens, World War II raged, and Ira Hayes joined the Marine corps. Eventually they were sent to the tiny Japanese…

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En la Clase: (Re)Teaching Thanksgiving

Fall 3As many of you may know, November is Native American Heritage Month.  As Lorraine pointed out in Monday’s post on the book Encounter, many of the same significant issues arise when we teach about conquest, colonization and Christopher Columbus as they do when we teach about Thanksgiving.  In today’s En la Clase I’m going to share a number of resources for (re)thinking how we approach teaching about Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month.

We’ve mentioned Debbie Reese’s blog American Indians in Children’s Literature a number of times here on Vamos a Leer.  It is an amazing resource.  If you’re not familiar with it, I highly suggest you spend some time there.  She recently posted the article “Some thoughts about Native American Month and Thanksgiving.”  Below I’ve shared an excerpt that touches on some ideas I think we all need to consider as we rethink what our approach to much of the November-themed curriculum.

“In the opening chapter of Eric Gansworth’s If I Ever Get Out Of Here (2013, Arthur A. Levine Books), the main character, Lewis, is walking home. The time of year is August.  Lewis lives on the Tuscarora Reservation. Here’s what Lewis is thinking:

As I turned the corner at Dog Street, where I lived, I could see my old elementary school. The teachers would be in their classrooms now, decorating bulletin boards with WELCOME TO THE 1975-1976 SCHOOL YEAR! in big construction-paper letters. They were going to be puzzled by the fact that the United States Bicentennial Celebration wasn’t exactly a reservation priority, since we’d been here for a lot longer than two hundred years.

That puzzlement is what today’s post is about. Lewis’s people identify with a tribal nation that has been here far longer than the nation we know as the United States of America. I think it fair to say that the US marks two moments of historical significance. One is its independence on July 4, 1776. But Independence Day is preceded by “the first Thanksgiving” in 1621. (Set aside time to read and study What Really Happened at the First Thanksgiving: The Wampanoag Side of the Tale.)

In schools across the country, Native peoples appear in the curriculum at specific times of the year. Like this month. November. Thanksgiving.

Coincidentally (?), November is Native American Month. I suspect November may have been chosen because that is the month when the US celebrates Thanksgiving. As such, I think it seemed (to someone) to be the ideal month for Americans to “reflect on the profound ways the First Americans have shaped our country’s character and culture.” That phrase is in the opening line of President Obama’s 2014 Presidential Proclamation designating this as National Native American Heritage Month. The first president to proclaim November as Native American Month was George H. W. Bush, in 1990 (see the full list of proclamations here).

People mean well. They have good intentions. But even President Obama’s opening remark indicates a framework that doesn’t work. Are Native peoples “the First Americans?” I know a good many Native people who would say they’re citizens of their tribal nation first and foremost, and I’ve read that Native leaders who fought the U.S. in the 1800s wouldn’t call themselves Americans at all.”

Reese’s post goes on to share a number of discussion points and resources, including books and video.  I hope you’ll read the whole article.  She also posted a great review of Anton Treuer’s book Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask that’s definitely worth reading.

In classrooms across the United States, students will learn about Thanksgiving in one manner or another over the next three weeks.  I hope that we can rethink what that looks like, just as we have continued to advocate for teaching a more historically accurate view of what actually happened when Columbus arrived in the Americas.  I think it’s important to broach conversations with our students that discuss how contemporary injustices are in part allowed to persist because of the myths perpetuated around historical events like the first Thanksgiving and Columbus’ conquest.  There are resources available to teach about these responsibly.  As a former teacher, I know it can be time consuming to find and research available resources.  With this in mind, I’ve shared some below.  Some are past posts we’ve shared here on Vamos a Leer and others are links to resources that you may want to share with your students.

I’m certainly not saying that we remove all teaching about Thanksgiving from our classrooms.  I think it’s a topic that opens up a number of important conversations around conquest, colonization, and the writing of history.  I also think that it’s important for both teachers and students to have conversations around the idea of thankfulness, but these don’t have to revolve around a historically inaccurate myth that may very well be alienating to many of our students.  We do have much to be thankful for, including access to alternative versions of history and the freedom to critique and think critically about what we are taught.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or how you plan on teaching about Thanksgiving in your classrooms.  Please share in the comments below.

Local Event! The Construction of Racial Politics in Education

We are very excited to announce our last presentation in the Fall 2014 LAII Lecture Series which will focus on education. Dr. Nancy López and Dr. Ricky Lee Allen will offer a joint presentation which collectively considers the construction of racial politics in education. López, an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, will address this through a presentation titled “Interrogating Inequality? The Politics of Mapping and Interrupting Intersecting Race, Gender and Class Inequalities in U.S. Schools.” Dr. Allen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies, will address this through a presentation titled “Whiteness, Race, and the ‘Good’ School.” The presentation will take place on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the UNM Student Union Building (SUB), Santa Ana B. For reference, see the event flyer.  See below for more detailed information about the event.

Please share with anyone who may be interested! We hope to see you there!!


Dr. Nancy López: “Interrogating Inequality? The Politics of Mapping and Interrupting Intersecting Race, Gender and Class Inequalities in U.S. Schools.”

Dr. López earned a B.A. Columbia College, Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York. She directs and co-founded the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice, RWJF Center for Health Policy and chairs the Race, Gender and Class Section, American Sociological Association and co-chairs the Diversity Council, UNM. She also coordinates the NM Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium for data harmonization that leverages intersectionality to advance equity-based public policies. López’s scholarship, teaching and service is guided by the insights of intersectionality for interrogating inequalities across a variety of social outcomes including education, health, employment, housing, etc. Her current work examines the politics of racial and ethnic guidelines and measurements in the Office of Management & Budget and the Census as a site of racial formation; she argues that the proposal to combine Hispanic origin with race for the 2020 Census contribute to hegemonic colorblind and neoliberal racial projects.

Dr. López’s presentation will consider the following: “Over the centuries, racially stigmatized communities, such as American Indians, African Americans and Latina/o communities have experienced and resisted intersecting structural racism, sexism, classism in U.S. schools and decades after the passage of Civil Rights legislations, we continue to experience the poorest educational outcomes as a result. How can an intentional focus on the intersection and co-construction of race, gender and class and other axes of difference in our data collection, analysis, reporting yield new insights for research, policy and action? How can we establish pathways, from harmonized race, gender, and class data collection-to effective and contextualized education policy? How can we build mini-social movements that are anchored in social justice against the backdrop of neoliberal and colorblind ideologies that render racial, class, gender and other axes of inequality as the inevitable outcome of competition in a so-called “meritocracy”? Dr. López argues that a focused attention to intersectionality, specifically, namely linking the co-construction of race, gender, class, ethnicity and other intersecting systems of oppression and sites of resistance the individual/micro-level, institutional, meso-level, and societal/macro-level, are important ways of framing research and policies that advance social movement anchored in educational justice in U.S. schools.”

Dr. Ricky Lee Allen: “Whiteness, Race, and the ‘Good’ School.”

Dr. Allen received his Ph.D. in Education (Urban Schooling) from the University of California, Los Angeles. He specializes in critical race studies, critical whiteness studies, and critical social theory. His scholarship focuses on the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of White identity politics. His publications include “The Globalization of White Supremacy: Toward a Critical Discourse on the Racialization of the World,” “Whiteness and Critical Pedagogy,” and “What About Poor White People?” His courses include Whiteness Studies, Critical Race Theory, Paulo Freire, and Philosophy of Education. Before becoming a professor, Dr. Allen was a secondary science teacher in suburban Cincinnati, rural Indiana, and urban Los Angeles.

Dr. Allen’s presentation will consider the following: “Even after decades of academic and public attention, the relationship between race and education is still largely misunderstood because we do not situate it within an accurate social and historical context. Race and racism are structural aspects of a racialized social system that organizes people into “races,” privileges “whites,” assigns relative “value” according to body schema, and produces and maintains hierarchies between racial groups. Education plays a role in re-creating this racialized social system, as do institutions and other phenomena external to schooling. Absent a consciousness of how this system operates, we misrecognize affluent white schools as “good” and white people as “normal.” This talk will challenge discourse that constructs white “successes” as a model by deconstructing how they are caught up in dehumanizing processes.”


Image: Photo of “World Geography” mural. Reprinted CC © from Flickr user Cedward Brice.