As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
In my previous thoughts I wrote about the idea of looking as research from a critical angle. Poking, prodding, and not necessarily agreeing with the research results, or conclusions. The reverse can also be said. This is especially true if you are interested in a topic, and find a golden piece of research that gives you an outstanding amount of information. In both cases I think there is much to be grateful for, if you think about it, there are researchers who dedicated 1, 2, or even 3 years to write 1 research paper. 1 paper might not sound like much, but when you look at the references, you realize the amount of work that has been invested in 1 paper. I like to think of the references as a list of gems. Through those you can find more information related to your research interests.
This is how I felt when I read a paper that was focused upon the Hispanic / Latino American Education experience. As I read, my heart literally sank, I was even in tears after realizing the situation. How minority groups have historically and to the present points been pushed back through the system of education. Every system is not perfect. I know that from my own experiences as a student, and as a mother. What is most upsetting about the Hispanic / Latino experience is the fact that there are deep historical connections with the USA, but the historical ties that are seemingly being preserved, seem as though they are not. I say seem, or seemingly, because these thoughts are derived from one paper, and of course it is always a good idea to read and investigate more, before we formulate our own opinions.
Mexican-American experience is distinct because historically a significant part of the country of origin (Mexico) was seized by the US and that included the Mexican population in those territories. This history of colonization and subsequent immigration, the Mexican-Americans’ particular form of racialization by American society, and the specific demographics involved in their immigration and settlement make their experience very different from that of their European counterparts (Telles 2009; Deutsche and Ryan1984). (Stromquist, 1996)
It has been accurately observed that in the US, ‘bilingualism is treated as a liability, rather than as a rich cultural and economic resource’ (President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans 204, Stromquist, 1996).
What concerns me the most so far is the construction of English Language Learner (ELL) and the English as a Second Language categories (ESL). Often students are placed in these categories, without a real understanding of their learning needs. While it is a good idea to improve English proficiency of Spanish speakers, is it not also necessary to provide Spanish speakers with a space where they could attend schools where there are bilingual options? This is probably necessary where there is a high percentage of immigrant populations that are immigrating and moving to the USA from Mexico. The forecast is that the Hispanic / Latino populations from Latin or South America will grow in America. I found it interesting to hear of this growth, as we have a President who is constantly bashing immigrants, DACA recipients or the DREAMers, who are mainly from Latin America. His rhetorics and the current situation and growth of this specific populations are contradictory of future forecasts, and will hurt the growth of America. I am thinking about his views particularly of Hispanic / Latino, African Americans, and any minority community. Do his speech writes even consult individuals from Presidential Advisory Committees? Does President Trump even know that a President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans exists?
I have always believed that education is the root cause of problems created for people at the margins, and a root solution for people living at the margins. Education can be transformational only and only when it used and practiced properly. In this case it is about looking at the school boards, and the school system within states to see if they are meeting the needs of populations, and communities that they serve. I am also recommending that there should be bilingual options available for reasons that include:
~The preservation of history through language ~A national forgiveness of historical and modern colonization within the USA ~Inclusion ~Revision of Intelligence testing so that students are placed accurately regardless of English proficiency.
Nothing can change overnight, but beginning to recognize that there must be effective change creates a pathway to opening conversations, and getting the right people, and policy makers to make change happen. What is for certain is that the current hurts of racism, segregation, or systemic barriers will not benefit these populations, and even America in the long term. It will be the populations that are currently learning that will enter the American workforce, labour market, businesses, or as the professionals of tomorrow. So wouldn't it be wise to invest in the populations that are being criticized, open pathways, instead of purposely being put down through the psychosocial effects? Rather than implying - Go back to where you came from?
The prognosis is that Mexican and other Latin American immigration to the US will continue, making Hispanics part of the shared destiny of this country. (Stromquist, 1996)
Destiny is never created alone, nor is it shared alone, while one is putting in the effort, and determination. The achievements or destiny is only achieved through a sense of inter-connectedness - Shazi! :)
My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :)
Reference: Stromquist, N. P. (2012). The educational experience of Hispanic immigrants in the United States: integration through marginalization. Race, Ethnicity, and Education. (15) 2, 195-221. Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on February 10th, 2018. Image 1 - Web Link Image 2 - Web Link