Latina women make up the fastest growing non-white group entering the teaching profession at a time when it is estimated that 20% of all students nationwide now identify as Latina/o. Through ethnographic and participant observation in two underperforming majority-minority schools in Los Angeles, as well as interviews with teachers, parents and staff, Latina Teachers examines the complexities stemming from a growing workforce of Latina teachers.
The teachers profiled use Latino cultural resources and serve as agents of ethnic mobility. They actively teach their students how to navigate American race and class structures while retaining their cultural roots, necessary tactics in an American education system that has not fully caught up with the nation’s demographic changes. Flores also explores the challenges faced by Latina teachers, including language barriers and cultural acclimation, and professional inequalities that continue to affect women of color at work.
An unprecedented look at an understudied population, Latina Teachers presents an important picture of the women who are increasingly shaping the way America’s children are educated.
"Glenda Flores has crafted a milestone study on Latinas in the classroom. Interrogating familiar cultural practices as assets not deficits and Latino parents as allies not obstacles, Professor Flores brings out the 'difference' Latina teachers make in racially diverse schools. Moving well beyond a dialectic of European American teacher and Latino student, she deals with the everyday challenges of diversity with white, Latino, African American, and Asian students, parents, educators, and administrators and the types of coalitions and tensions that evolve along interracial lines. Timely, astute, and heartfelt, Latina Teachers is essential reading."
—Vicki L. Ruiz, author of From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America
"Vividly detailed, offering stimulating ethnography and insightful analysis of the quiet but important transformations today underway in the classrooms of Latina teachers. Glenda Flores does not shy away from acknowledging the multiple challenges facing Latino children in U.S. schools, but her focus on Chicana/Latina teachers shines light on the unique contributions and doors that these teachers are opening for Latino children. This book makes significant contributions to the sociology of work, race/ethnicity and occupations, and it is a must read for anyone interested in understanding an asset perspective of Latino education."
—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Paradise Transplanted: Migration and the Making of California Gardens
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