Essay The Role Of Identity And Educational Practices

1222 Words Dec 12th, 2015 null Page
The Role of Identity in Educational Practices
Cultural identity within the classroom is at the forefront of Precious Knowledge, a documentary about a controversial Mexican American studies program taught in Tucson High School. While 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High’s Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 100 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. This film was particularly relevant to me because it allowed me to examine the influence of cultural identity from an outside perspective. I taught at a school where roughly a third of my students were coded as Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Many of the bilingual children at my school were coming from Mexico and had received formal education in Spanish. They possesed talents and brought new concepts to the classroom, however little stress is placed on their background and instead placed on the demand to excel in terms of new strict standards. These LEP students are moved into a classroom, given little motivation, and are often pushed through the system. Like the students in the Tuscon school, due largely to the lack of consideration of the child’s individual identity, learning has become irrelevant to their lives.
While the ethnic studies curriculum was up against critics who argued the teachings were divisive and promoted a revolutionary doctrine, the film also…

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