Reflections of a Hispanic Teacher: Resistance to class and racial oppression in the classroom. By José-Enrique Figueroa. Jose-Enrique Figueroa

ISBN:

Published: January 22nd 2015

Kindle Edition

223 pages


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Reflections of a Hispanic Teacher: Resistance to class and racial oppression in the classroom. By José-Enrique Figueroa.  by  Jose-Enrique Figueroa

Reflections of a Hispanic Teacher: Resistance to class and racial oppression in the classroom. By José-Enrique Figueroa. by Jose-Enrique Figueroa
January 22nd 2015 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 223 pages | ISBN: | 10.42 Mb

This is a joint publication of Berkeley ad Floricanto Presses.This book articulates a critical-progressive perspective of American education dealing with the real issues in the classroom. These are reflections of a Hispanic teacher—a Puerto Rican immigrant who experienced his family’s struggle to ensure he was well educated—based on a praxis of twenty-one years of teaching in the trenches of the South Bronx and in the City of Yonkers.

He posits children need to be taught individually- their intellectual, emotional, and behavioral needs cannot fit into a one-size-fits-all model and their individual needs met in a non-negative context. Systems, such as MicroSociety, that contextualize schools in an economics-based environment recognize a false social order, trap children in a system that in reality is littered with racism and classism, promote consumerism and same-ism, and stymie creative expression.

He analyzes the postures of blaming the teachers for failures in a system that punishes already failing schools instead of encouraging them (No Child Left Behind)- a lack of middle-class values or apathetic work ethic in poor families—a misnomer- indeed, these children are growing up in hard-working families that value respect for others and education and personal pride—and injecting profit concepts into schools by way of the Charter system, which commodifies education. Education already works for the wealthy. Would it not be better to look at the equality gap as the reason for failure?

Why not look as such reasons as bad building maintenance, few opportunities, poor nutrition, and a lack of high-quality early education? In essence, by pulling together personal memories, students’ stories, experience, and research, the author shows how prevailing ideological rhetoric seeks solutions to the education system’s problems within the confines of that system, thus lacking a critical view of the real source of the problem. Until the root of inequality and injustice change, the educational system cannot be reformed.

Who better to offer actionable insights than teachers with years of knowledge and experience acquired in the trenches who can frame the discussion in their own terms?Dr. Figueroa’s book, Reflections of a Hispanic Teacher, comes at the right moment. It is an insightful progressive representation of some of my own experiences. As a retired New York City Teacher, and reflecting on my own experiences, I can only say .

. . right on target! Aida Matos, Retired elementary school teacher.Dr. Figueroa’s reflections are full of truths and sincerity. Agree or disagree with his perspective, I consider a required reading for all those concerned with the education of our children.Juan Carlos Ramos, Elementary school teacher.The story of a brilliant, highly educated, passionate, talented and committed public school teacher, his amazing accomplishments over the years and his critical reflections -- and the impact on him and his students of a new social studies enrichment curriculum!Roslyn Wallach BologhProfessor of SociologyGraduate Center, CUNYCollege of Staten Island, CUNY



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