Becoming maestras: Future bilingual teachers authoring bicultural and biliterate identities

Date
2010
Authors
Brochin, Carol
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Abstract

This dissertation is a qualitative case study about the process of cultivating pre-service teachers into becoming maestras within a bilingual teacher preparation program at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in South Texas. I drew from both case study and literacy research methods. I spent fifteen weeks in the four courses of the bilingual approaches block during which I completed over 180 hours of participant observation. The data for this dissertation included observational field notes; the collection of official documents, such as syllabi and course lectures; the collection of written artifacts produced by pre-service teachers in all four courses and across all literacy events; and transcripts from course discussions and interviews. Analysis of data was done by applying literacy research methods (Moje & Lewis, 2007), including textual analysis (Fairclough, 2003), event mapping (Dixon & Green, 2005), and cross-case analysis (Merriam, 1998). The findings revealed that cultivating maestras includes four tenets: (1) critical (self) reflection for cultural recovery, (2) affirmative practices that view communities as sitios/sites for learning, (3) community building with peers and (4) advocacy and awareness of bilingual education within the boarder sociocultural historical context of education. The findings in this dissertation make visible what all teacher preparation programs can learn from opportunities provided for pre-service teachers to draw from their unofficial literacy practices. Studying the development of a maestra identity is important because it provides insight into the transformative potential of education when the languages, literacies, and cultures of all students are affirmed.

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Keywords
bicultural, bilingual, case study, literacy, pre-service teachers, texts
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Department
Bicultural-Bilingual Studies