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Title:Remaining and becoming: Cultural crosscurrents in an Hispano school
Author(s):Roberts, Shelley
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Peshkin, Alan
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Anthropology, Cultural
Education, Sociology of
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This ethnographic study looks at the relationship between a school in Northern New Mexico and its rural community. By looking at a school within a community, I hoped to understand the community's expectations about the school being a fitting place for their children. Assuming that a school channels choices for succeeding generations, I designed this research project in Norteno, a pseudonym, around the question: Who are these students learning to be within the historical and sociocultural context of their community? The choices, contingencies, and options open to students are contextualized by how their life histories intersect with the history of their school and community.
The Norteno School District serves 14 villages with an average population of 150 persons and is run by Hispanos. The history of the Norteno School District is embedded in the two hundred year history of the community and a several centuries longer Hispano history in the region. The cultural streams running through the valleys have eroded the traditional cultural landscape, and the cultural crosscurrents have affected the cornerstones of Norteno society--family, faith, land, and language. As the form of the community changes, the pattern of the culture changes. Nortenos--a minority in the outside world and the majority in their own world--are debating how the functions of the school should respond to such changes.
This is not a study about inventorying cultural traits to measure the continuity of cultural tradition, but about the ambiguity of education, with its losses and gains, and its lingering doubts about the past and future. Is what the students are learning worth as much as what they are forgetting? The terms "remaining" and "becoming" in the title of this study reflect the debates among Nortenos about whether or not the school should teach the local culture and language. By remaining, I mean what a school does or hopes to do in the name of what it sees as the heritage of the students it serves. By becoming, I mean what a school does or hopes to do in the name of change.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Roberts, Shelley
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543705
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543705

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