Liberatory Praxis with Latinx Students Through the Synthesis of Humanizing Pedagogies and Curricula
The Latinx population is the second-fastest growing in the U.S., accounting for 18% of the population, or nearly 58 million people as of 2016. This should be of particular interest to educators who work with youth in urban intensive and emergent areas as 71% of nearly 7 million students who are enrolled in the nation’s 60 largest school districts are either Latinx or Black, in contrast to approximately 35% of the nation as whole. Moreover, more than half of Latinx people lived in metropolitan areas in 2014 making this of note to practitioners who work with youth in urban intensive and emergent areas. Latinx students have been dehumanized in United States society and school system through a history of racialization and Americanization in curricula, policy, and rhetoric. As such, there are scores of learners that are being done a social injustice through their dehumanization and unequal treatment in comparison to their non-Latinx peers and those who are not of color. The consequences of the dehumanization of Latinx students is far-reaching, as it effects multiple socio-ecological levels through the influence of policy decisions and political rhetoric that directly impact Latinx (-American) experiences in the U.S. education system, and of course carries implications for other students of color, among other populations. This paper seeks to address how critical educators can react and respond to this history by enacting humanizing pedagogies with Latinx students that engage students in liberatory praxis. Examples of humanizing pedagogies for Latinx students have been used by some practitioners and researchers, although these practices have largely been utilized individually. It is the synthesis and incorporation of self-knowledge through ethnic studies and culturally responsive pedagogy, critical thinking skills via conscientização, civic engagement, and cultivating radical self-love into critical pedagogy and curricula that can produce liberatory praxis and humanization with Latinx students.