“La lucha todavía no ha terminado”/The struggle has not yet ended: Teaching immigration through testimonio and difficult funds of knowledge

Noreen Naseem Rodríguez, Cinthia S. Salinas

Abstract


In spite of immigration’s influential role in American history and politics, contemporary issues in immigration are rarely addressed in elementary classrooms. This instrumental case study of a bilingual social studies methods course in an elementary teacher preparation program examined projects focused on immigration and related executive orders issued by newly elected President Trump in the spring of 2017. The lessons and student conversations analyzed revealed the importance of providing young learners with nuanced and thoughtful opportunities for testimonio, or personal narrative, that address the difficult funds of knowledge that immigrant children and the children of immigrants may possess, such as personal experiences with deportation and detention. In the midst of heightened anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States and around the world, the preservice teachers’ work offers possibilities for powerful, student-centered pedagogies and counter-narratives at the elementary level. 

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