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Borderland Education
Unformatted Document Text:  Statement of the issue: At this writing, ‘militia men’ guard the U.S.- Mexico borders and in interviews use language that recalls war, invasion, and the destruction of society unless the borders are closed. The authors contend that there is a complex set of socio-cultural dynamics that operates in the San Diego- Tijuana border region schools that is as powerful a gatekeepers for poor, Latino and Black students as contemporary ‘militia men’ operate to keep the Mexico-U.S. border a barrier to unauthorized entry. The implications of this discussion are far reaching and offer the reader a set of lenses through which to consider inequity in schools that relate to practices among students of diverse cultures, language, gender, ethnicity, race and individuals with special needs (Romo, 2005). This session is primarily for conference attendees who are willing to engage directly and publicly in a collaborative, constructivist process of critical thinking, which the presenter will facilitate. The dialogue will focus on the assessment of actual programs and curriculum developed as a result of collaboration between two border region teacher education programs, one in California and one in Baja California. Some conference attendees may participate as observers and help participants analyze the dialogue and assessment process. Literature review: Our primary concern in this writing centers around how the border region or “place” relates to theory and practice in education and the relationship and interconnections between literacy, culture, identity, and difference as it pertains to groups traditionally excluded within the dominant discourse of schooling. Border pedagogy is used as the catalyst for discussion though complicated by its interdisciplinary implications and gaps in the literature specific to the concept–clearly difficult to research and organize. Articles in the Journal of Borderland Studies (2003) that were reviewed balanced on the side of economic issues and trends, immigration, migration and identity, and national security, and less on educational issues though clearly stated as part of their global vision. In the case of the San Diego–Tijuana border there exists a plethora of information regarding illegal immigration, trade (NAFTA), and drug trafficking that indicate increasing hostility and political polarization. However, there is also a growing amount of research that speaks of transformation and more hopeful futures. Border pedagogy is an attempt to broaden the dialogue to include teachers and educators and others in the educational environment. The aim here is to examine the relationship between culture and place and its implications for teaching and learning that might inform educators about a landscape, a terrain where various aspects of the humanities and social sciences, namely, cultural identity, social and political history, and environmental psychology are intertwined and complicated, where “places are planned, designed, built, inhabited, appropriated, celebrated, despoiled, and discarded,” (Hayden, 1995, p. 15). Recently academic debates around a built environment, history, and culture occur in a more contested terrain of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in regards to preserving urban history. About this Dolores Hayden (1995) writes, “Change is not simply a matter of acknowledging diversity or correcting a traditional bias toward the architectural legacy of wealth and power.” Hayden’s work provides insight into the multiple dynamics of place and is an example of an interdisciplinary approach to addressing urban challenges. Much academic discussion of border pedagogy has been confined to theoretical

Authors: Romo, Jaime.
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Statement of the issue:
At this writing, ‘militia men’ guard the U.S.- Mexico borders and in interviews use
language that recalls war, invasion, and the destruction of society unless the borders are
closed. The authors contend that there is a complex set of socio-cultural dynamics that
operates in the San Diego- Tijuana border region schools that is as powerful a
gatekeepers for poor, Latino and Black students as contemporary ‘militia men’ operate to
keep the Mexico-U.S. border a barrier to unauthorized entry. The implications of this
discussion are far reaching and offer the reader a set of lenses through which to consider
inequity in schools that relate to practices among students of diverse cultures, language,
gender, ethnicity, race and individuals with special needs (Romo, 2005).
This session is primarily for conference attendees who are willing to engage directly and
publicly in a collaborative, constructivist process of critical thinking, which the presenter
will facilitate. The dialogue will focus on the assessment of actual programs and
curriculum developed as a result of collaboration between two border region teacher
education programs, one in California and one in Baja California. Some conference
attendees may participate as observers and help participants analyze the dialogue and
assessment process.
Literature review:
Our primary concern in this writing centers around how the border region or “place”
relates to theory and practice in education and the relationship and interconnections
between literacy, culture, identity, and difference as it pertains to groups traditionally
excluded within the dominant discourse of schooling. Border pedagogy is used as the
catalyst for discussion though complicated by its interdisciplinary implications and gaps
in the literature specific to the concept–clearly difficult to research and organize. Articles
in the Journal of Borderland Studies (2003) that were reviewed balanced on the side of
economic issues and trends, immigration, migration and identity, and national security,
and less on educational issues though clearly stated as part of their global vision. In the
case of the San Diego–Tijuana border there exists a plethora of information regarding
illegal immigration, trade (NAFTA), and drug trafficking that indicate increasing
hostility and political polarization. However, there is also a growing amount of research
that speaks of transformation and more hopeful futures. Border pedagogy is an attempt
to broaden the dialogue to include teachers and educators and others in the educational
environment.
The aim here is to examine the relationship between culture and place and its
implications for teaching and learning that might inform educators about a landscape, a
terrain where various aspects of the humanities and social sciences, namely, cultural
identity, social and political history, and environmental psychology are intertwined and
complicated, where “places are planned, designed, built, inhabited, appropriated,
celebrated, despoiled, and discarded,” (Hayden, 1995, p. 15). Recently academic
debates around a built environment, history, and culture occur in a more contested terrain
of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in regards to preserving urban history. About this
Dolores Hayden (1995) writes, “Change is not simply a matter of acknowledging
diversity or correcting a traditional bias toward the architectural legacy of wealth and
power.” Hayden’s work provides insight into the multiple dynamics of place and is an
example of an interdisciplinary approach to addressing urban challenges.
Much academic discussion of border pedagogy has been confined to theoretical


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