ERIC Number: EJ912689
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 33
Telling Our Stories Using Chicano Literature for Children and Young Adults as a Means of Promoting Cultural Awareness and Self-Worth
Arenas, Rosie A.
Journal of the Association of Mexican American Educators, p10-15 2008
Books written and illustrated by Chicano authors and illustrators give young Chicano students a different perspective to life that contrasts that of traditional school textbooks. They depict life as it was and continues to be. However, during the past few years, educational policy and law in California has imposed a strong focus on the teaching of reading skills, of phonics and decoding, of spelling and writing, that has all but eliminated the use of children's literature in its original form from the curriculum. The role of children's literature in the lives of the children, who read it, encompasses many areas. Children can see themselves in literature and clarify their sense of self when they see books that mirror their existence, written by authors that share their own experiences in the books they write. This type of literature will allow children to look at their lives and know that others share similar experiences and that it is normal to have had those experiences. When children read books that reflect their culture, they realize they are not alone. These books validate who they are and give them a sense of belonging. The author contends that it is not enough to use Latino children's books but strive to represent the heterogeneity within the Chicano community by using literature with authentic cultural and language practices. This is the only way Chicano stories will be heard and appreciated not only by Chicano students but by all students seeking their own identities and striving to make this a better world by recognizing the similarities instead of the differences.
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Textbooks, Mexican Americans, Cultural Awareness, Teaching Methods, Reading Skills, Educational Policy, Reading Instruction, Self Concept, Role, Authors, Cultural Traits
Association of Mexican American Educators. 634 South Spring Street Suite 908, Los Angeles, CA 90014. Tel: 310-251-6306; Fax: 310-538-4976; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.amae.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California