ERIC Number: ED466666
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jan-5
Mexican American History as an Elective High School Subject: Promoting Ethnic Literacy and Citizenship among DNISD Students.
At Del Norte Independent School District (DNISD) (El Paso, Texas), Mexican American students are the majority ethnic group, but their history and culture have not been incorporated into the high school curriculum. Hence a goal of citizenship education, to increase student understanding of their own ethnic heritage and its part in U.S. history, is not being met. This paper proposes that Mexican American history be offered as a high school elective course, thereby exposing students to an alternative perspective in constructing the past and increasing Mexican American students' sense of ethnic identity. The first part of the paper briefly examines some academic challenges faced by Mexican Americans in the public school system generally and in DNISD. Latinos and Mexican Americans have low school achievement and graduation rates across the nation, in Texas, and in DNISD. The second section discusses ethnic literacy, ethnic identity, student self-esteem, and the role that teaching Mexican American history could serve in citizenship education. The third part examines deficiencies in the way that Mexican American history is currently taught in DNISD and the lack of good textbooks and instructional materials. The fourth section outlines strategies for teaching Mexican American history in two semesters through an inquiry-based method. (Contains 20 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A