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Chapter 2: Still Fighting for Ethnic Studies: The Origins, Practices, and Potential of Community Responsive Pedagogy

by Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales & Jeff Duncan-Andrade - 2021

Background/Context: As the debate on what content should be included in Ethnic Studies continues, there has also been an exploration of what effective pedagogy in Ethnic Studies looks like. Community responsive pedagogy advances the work of critical pedagogy and culturally responsive pedagogy by centralizing a community’s context in the education of children and youth. We use community to refer to the cultural, political, social, and economic spaces and places that shape student and family realities.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: This chapter begins by drawing from the scholarship written about Ethnic Studies and the development of a pedagogy that is both responsive to students and centers their wellness. Building off the research on Ethnic Studies pedagogies, we offer a conceptualization of community responsive pedagogy (CRP). Community responsive leaders and educators transform climates, cultures, and curriculum to prioritize youth wellness (innerself, interpersonal, interconnectedness) through a focus on three domains of pedagogical practice: relationships, relevance, and responsibility.

Research Design: We begin with historicizing the origins of CRP in Ethnic Studies and then provide examples of how CRP can be applied. The chapter explores the three domains of CRP and provides examples from our previous studies to show how educators practice those domains to reveal the potential benefits for all students.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Ethnic Studies as a movement is community responsive. CRP has the potential to go beyond the Ethnic Studies classroom and reshape the way we understand education and its purpose. Ethnic Studies, and the community responsive teaching that sits at its pedagogical core, centers youth wellness. In this chapter, we reveal that (1) the protective nature of caring adult relationships acts as armor against future threats to a child’s wellness, which is particularly important for youth living in the chronically stressful environments created by structural inequalities; (2) centering students, their families, their communities, and their ancestors, a relevant pedagogy acknowledges their stories as assets that provide cultural wisdom and medicine, along with pathways to freedom and justice—advancing Maslow’s individualistic frame toward one that allows children to use their learning to develop a sense of concentric circles of interconnectedness (peers, school community, local community, larger society, and the world); and (3) schools and educators also have the responsibility to acknowledge and leverage student strengths to develop and maintain their well-being and overall achievement.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 123 Number 13, 2021, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23737, Date Accessed: 9/21/2021 9:40:41 AM

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About the Author
  • Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales
    San Francisco State University
    E-mail Author
    ALLYSON TINTIANGCO-CUBALES, Ph.D., is professor of Asian American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Educational Leadership at San Francisco State University. She founded Pin@y Educational Partnerships, an Ethnic Studies program that supports the development of radical educators and Community Responsive Education, where she focuses on the nexus between Ethnic Studies and wellness. She has written four books and numerous articles and book chapters that are widely used to support the development of teachers throughout the nation.
  • Jeff Duncan-Andrade
    San Francisco State University
    E-mail Author
    JEFF DUNCAN-ANDRADE, Ph.D., is professor of Latina/o Studies and Race and Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University and a founder of the Roses in Concrete Community School and Community Responsive Education. Along with authoring many articles, he’s written two books, and his third with Harvard Press is due out spring 2021. As a classroom teacher and school leader in East Oakland for 29 years, his pedagogy produced uncommon levels of social and academic success for students.
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