The Fight for Educational Justice within the Chicano Communities (By Jordan Wilson-Dalzell)

Overview:

Through a series of senior year Humanities seminars and discussions, students will discuss the role the East LA blowouts played in [young] Chicano identification and empowerment. They will apply primary sources to a creative interpretation of the forces that accumulated to catalyze the East LA Blowouts.

Framework:

Through this process, by reading and discussing two primary documents written by the youths who walked out, students will examine the historical educational conditions of East LA during the 1960s. The process will encourage them to explore the way educational conditions affect self-perception and how youths, much like themselves, have historically chosen to challenge those conditions. Students should have read and deconstructed Racism on Trial in the history class, and Living La Vida Loca over the course of a month: Always Running in their English class in order to come prepared to discuss the significance of the movement. This learning process will take place in three parts: initial literary and historical exposure done independently within subject specific classes, analytical exposure to El Plan de Aztlan and the East LA Walkout demands done as joint humanities forum, and a third creative exposure where students will create a personalized creative response that incorporates their new understanding.

Students will develop their group work and discussion skills as they derive conclusions about what caused the East LA Blowouts, examine the way educational infrastructure prevented Chicanos from feeling empowered and catalyzed a movement to remake it in the image of a more inclusive identity. They will explore the concept of educational justice in the context of the East LA schools as well as be challenged to look at today’s statistics and consider the open ended question: Can California today claim to have achieved educational justice?

Essential Understanding:

 The pre-1960s California (specifically East LA) educational infrastructure functioned as a deterrent to quality education for Chicanos; the glaring disparity between the education of Mexican-American and Indo-European students inspired Chicanos to protest both with their voice and their feet.

 

Glossary:

Chicano: a Mexican-American person may call himself or herself this however not all do. Social youth movements of the 1960s espoused this term as one of ethnic pride and re-claiming their cultural identities.

Mexican-American: person of Mexican and American descent (pre-1960s common term; afterwards, conservatives and older persons called themselves this)

Aztlán: the legendary ancestral home of Aztec people, part of the Chicano movement to inspire nationalism

Nationalism:  the belief system that promotes association with a group, people, or nation

Assimilation: the act or process of a group of people becoming part of another society by giving up aspects of their own culture

Self-determination: the concept that a community or people should have control over what happens to them

Introduction:

 

This process is designed for California schools in order to help students deepen their understanding of the story of education for Mexican-Americans since t he 1960s. They will explore pivotal moments in Chicano activist history such as the East LA Blowouts and El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán.

Mexican American roots run deep in this country.  In order to understand the social movements led by those with Mexican descent in the 1960s, one must first understand the historical context of their oppression. Although what is considered the Southwest is currently under United States sovereignty, at one point it was a part of Mexico until the U.S decided to go to war over it and annex it following the end of the war.             In 1969, all across the southwest, a new kind of identity was in the last stages of formation.  As the Vietnam War raged on the other side of the world, claiming numerous lives of American minority groups, youths of the 1960s put their foot down and informed their oppressors “enough is enough”. The culmination of years of frustration, degradation, and discrimination erupted in social movements that set United States on fire.  While African-Americans battled segregation and discrimination in the Deep South and the Northeast, Mexican-American youths battled segregation and discrimination in the Southwest.  Their strategy was rooted in the reclamation of their identity, in rewriting linguistic connotations, and in renaming themselves in words that fully represented their heritage and pride. The word ‘Chicano’ became a centerpiece of Chicano nationalism. [my words]

Previous to beginning these activities, students should participate in the first step of a three part learning process.  The initial literary and historical exposure shall take place over the course of a month simultaneously in students’ 12th grade History and English classrooms. Within their English classroom, students should read, fill out an in-depth study guide and deconstruct Living La Vida Loca: Always Running. A link to the study guide will be provided in the Materials section. Within their History classrooms also within a month, they will read specific chapters of Racism on Trial and fill out an in-depth study guide as well. The link for that study guide will also be in the materials section. There is a suggested reading calendar also provided within the material section. Their first meeting together as a Humanities class will be spent discussing the glossary provided above and adding and altering the definitions to what the students find relevant to themselves, their everyday perceptions and their conclusion after reading both novels.

These activities might challenge previously held beliefs about the structure of the U.S in particular the education system or it might reinforce perceptions and experiences you’ve already had within the contexts of the educational system or general society. It is important that this activity be an opportunity for everyone to learn regardless of where you may fall on the spectrum. This process will force you to look in-depth at difficult concepts such as race, identity, educational justice, and structural oppression.

Materials:

1. Copy of E-LA Demands (give each student one complete copy)

http://latinopia.com/latino-history/ela-high-school-walk-out-demands/

2. Copy of El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán (give students one copy):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vubRhdhU3kZO5X9ZEZy_9pH1BvALsaoR_ajR5hN2nZc/edit

3. Study guide for Racism on Trial

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_uNN0W3Hcwj4sltFlmo4umdnjEuMrlUAQTbVKO_XSmc/edit?usp=sharing

4. Study guide for Living La Vida Loca

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nDBw7T6sNyuJ_kHNXzSNQQvgFez-CHvXltfC9umn6BM/edit

5. Poster paper

6. Markers

7. Video: History of the Chicano: Taking Back the Schools (53 minutes):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL4rQHKza9Y

8. Copies for every student of Racism on Trial

9. Copies for every student of Living La Vida Loca: Always Running by Luis Rodriguez

10. Copy of demands to be deconstructed in class (Google doc):

https://docs.google.com/a/students.pitzer.edu/document/d/1TY3-f8kf8IxzmL2kJyGHcjAYzK0i0syCQMDx8-HlUdo/edit

11. Website with poetic devices/types of poetry:

http://www.shadowpoetry.com

12. Example of prose poetry:

https://docs.google.com/a/students.pitzer.edu/document/d/1GdlJlAzKl90eulTLAbhEYvcXoNoBlE8inknyDEZnIKc/edit

. 13.  Purely prose poetry example:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eRhsSmjpSx58asxWKk45lJNoUuBPNB5YXe4jOj8BsLQ/edit

14. Examples of poetry:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17xucQ-pcqin_lNtyZfCbCsP4BMNt_WAf_NQbYSU4cBk/edit

15.  Example of a short story:

https://docs.google.com/a/students.pitzer.edu/document/d/1GdlJlAzKl90eulTLAbhEYvcXoNoBlE8inknyDEZnIKc/edit

16. Example screenplay:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wuWgqk4FBIJejN8d9eWgquH8dHrKuGwgWBrhtTTgFYc/edit

17. Screenplay formatting resource:

http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/howtoformatascreenplay

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_format.html

18. Stage play formatting resource:

      http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/howtoformatastageplay

19. Social Issue oriented rap suggestions:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i0WboC6RtibyG2zPePiNenT3Pz0a_u7pNam7Hr2hdMM/edit

20. Social Issue oriented song suggestions:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i0WboC6RtibyG2zPePiNenT3Pz0a_u7pNam7Hr2hdMM/edit

21. Website to look up Public school statistics:

http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/

11. Website with poetic devices/types of poetry:http://www.shadowpoetry.com

12. Example of prose poetry:

https://docs.google.com/a/students.pitzer.edu/document/d/1GdlJlAzKl90eulTLAbhEYvcXoNoBlE8inknyDEZnIKc/edit

. 13.  Purely prose poetry example:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eRhsSmjpSx58asxWKk45lJNoUuBPNB5YXe4jOj8BsLQ/edit

14. Examples of poetry:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17xucQ-pcqin_lNtyZfCbCsP4BMNt_WAf_NQbYSU4cBk/edit

15.  Example of a short story:

https://docs.google.com/a/students.pitzer.edu/document/d/1GdlJlAzKl90eulTLAbhEYvcXoNoBlE8inknyDEZnIKc/edit

16. Example screenplay:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wuWgqk4FBIJejN8d9eWgquH8dHrKuGwgWBrhtTTgFYc/edit

17. Screenplay formatting resource:

http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/howtoformatascreenplay

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_format.html

18. Stage play formatting resource:

http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/howtoformatastageplay

19. Social Issue oriented rap suggestions:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i0WboC6RtibyG2zPePiNenT3Pz0a_u7pNam7Hr2hdMM/edit

20. Social Issue oriented song suggestions:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i0WboC6RtibyG2zPePiNenT3Pz0a_u7pNam7Hr2hdMM/edit

21. Website to look up Public school statistics:

http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/

22. Reading Calendar:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UuXRZ4G7bNB3P5Hsq2qCKW3te8ZqMGnPokMhN8t-xIs/edit?usp=sharing

 

Activities:

The first week of this analytical exposure will be spent examining the East LA Walkouts. By the end of the series of lessons students will be able to answer the following questions:

1)    What motivated the East LA Blowouts?

2)    What was the short-term impact of the blowouts?

3)    Construct a response to the following question with evidence (answers may vary): has the Chicano community achieved educational justice and equity since 1968?

First day:

Purpose: 

Examine the overall context of the Chicano Identity movement and the blowouts. 

 The first day students will watch a video called the History of the Chicano: Taking Back the Schools. The link is provided in the materials section.  Give students 2-35 minutes to debrief the video and discuss their responses.

A few potential debriefing questions:

What surprised you about the video?

What shocked you the most?

What did you feel you already knew from previous classes?

What are initial perceptions of the Walkouts?

After debrief:

Give students the following introduction to the East LA Walkout demands:

The East LA demands after the blowouts reveals the educational conditions that inspired the blowouts. It reveals the why behind the walkouts as well as demonstrating the way the educational conditions might affect how Mexican American Students perceived them. The demands can be split between academic, facilities, administrative and student rights. They range from small displays of cultural pride to large sweeping declarations of equity.

 

 Divide students into groups of 4 and divvy up the following academic demands. Each group should be told they will be summarizing their demand and answering critical thinking questions the next day.

 

Here are the demands with my 1-2 sentence initial summary, longer summary. Give students the demand and my initial summary (if teachers feel the scaffold would benefit their students). The longer summaries are samples and can be used as an example or as what the class is striving to create together in the whole class debrief. Teachers should decide, as they know their class abilities best.

 

The first demand reveals the level of mistrust the Mexican American Students had for the institutions.

I. No student or teacher will be reprimanded or suspended for participating in any efforts, which are executed for the purpose of improving or furthering the educational quality in our schools.

 

       Sample summary:

Mexican American Students felt it was necessary to include a clause that would protect all participants in the blowouts which implies that retaliation for political protest and freedom of speech was common place during their era

II. Bilingual–Bi-cultural education will be compulsory for Mexican-Americans in the Los Angeles City School System where there is a majority of Mexican-American students. This program will be open to all other students on a voluntary basis. A) In-service education programs will be instituted immediately for all staff in order to teach them the Spanish language and increase their understanding of the history, traditions, and contributions of the Mexican culture. B) All administrators in the elementary and secondary schools in these areas will become proficient in the Spanish language Participants are to be compensated during the training period at not less than $8.80 an hour and upon completion of the course will receive in addition to their salary not less than $100.00 a month. The monies for these programs will come from local funds, state funds and matching federal funds.

The third demand demonstrates a preponderance of racial prejudice:

III. Administrators and teachers who show any form of prejudice toward Mexican or Mexican-American students, including failure to recognize, understand, and appreciate Mexican culture and heritage, will be removed from East Los Angeles schools. This will be decided by a Citizens Review Board selected by the Educational Issues Committee.

This puts in place a system for dealing with racial prejudice in a systematic manner as well as dictates clear consequences. At the same time the langue is less clear here than it is with the other demands.

The fourth demand shows that the lack of an inclusive curriculum:

 

IV. Textbooks and curriculum will be developed to show Mexican and Mexican-American contribution to the U.S. society and to show the injustices that Mexicans have suffered as a culture of that society. Textbooks should concentrate on Mexican folklore rather than English

folklore.

This ties into the first demand and the students’ feelings of their heritage being underrepresented, disrespected, and devalued by a curriculum that is silent on their participation in the nation. This demonstrates that they feel both oppressed and silenced on the manner of oppression.

This demand demonstrates a lack of community leadership in positions that directly affect the community i.e. education.

 

V. All administrators where schools have majority of Mexican-American descent shall be of Mexican-American descent. If necessary, training programs should be instituted to provide a cadre of Mexican-American administrators.

Given that we know the drop out rate for Mexican-American students was around 50% at certain schools, this highlights students desire to have the rates reflect that actual abilities of students rather than institutionalized racism and structural inequalities.

This demonstrates a desire to actively handle failure rates and prevent discrimination:

 

VI. Every teacher’s ratio of failure per students in his classroom shall be made available to community groups and students. Any teacher having a particularly high percentage of the total school dropouts in his classes shall be rated by the Citizens Review Board composed of the Educational Issues Committee.

Given that we know the drop out rate for Mexican-American students was around 50% at certain schools, this highlights students desire to have the rates reflect that actual abilities of students rather than institutionalized racism and structural inequalities.

Second day:

         Purpose:

Understanding the way demands can reflect the needs of a time.

 

Students will be examining the demands of the East LA Blowouts in-depth through group work. The first half of class will be spent with each groups reading through and discussing the demands they’ve been assigned to deconstruct. Each group should be given a set of critical thinking questions regarding their demand.

After students deconstruct and answer questions as a group (hand out posters to each group and have them answer questions and write their summary on their poster. They should share with the class at which point their peers can ask them questions or weigh in if they have something to add to the answer or a different thought.

Ask students if why each demand is being asked/whether they think it’s reasonable/ if what they consider reasonable/unreasonable is rooted in their time or in the historical context.

  Here are the demands and their critical questions:

The first demand reveals the level of mistrust the Mexican American Students had for the institutions.

 

I. No student or teacher will be reprimanded or suspended for participating in any efforts which are executed for the purpose of improving or furthering the educational quality in our schools.

 

Critical Thinking Questions: (To be given the next day)

 

a)             if Mexican American Students feel they cannot speak without fearing punishment, how would that affect the learning atmosphere around critical thinking?

b)            What kind of an impact might that have on how they see the value of their voice?

 

The second demand reveals the lack of cultural empowerment.

II. Bilingual–Bi-cultural education will be compulsory for Mexican-Americans in the Los Angeles City School System where there is a majority of Mexican-American students. This program will be open to all other students on a voluntary basis. A) in-service education programs will be instituted immediately for all staff in order to teach them the Spanish language and increase their understanding of the history, traditions, and contributions of the Mexican culture. B) All administrators in the elementary and secondary schools in these areas will become proficient in the Spanish language Participants are to be compensated during the training period at not less than $8.80 an hour and upon completion of the course will receive in addition to their salary not less than $100.00 a month. The monies for these programs will come from local funds, state funds and matching federal funds.

Critical thinking questions:

a)    Tying together the first two demands, what are Mexican American Students addressing by including two demands related to voice? Which sections directly attempt to support self-expression?

b)   If classes emphasize Mexican American culture and history, how might that affect the way Mexican Americans view themselves? How would it change the way non-Mexican Americans view their peers?

c)    Why would they want all students to be a part of that program?

The third demand demonstrates a preponderance of racial prejudice:

III. Administrators and teachers who show any form of prejudice toward Mexican or Mexican-American students, including failure to recognize, understand, and appreciate Mexican culture and heritage, will be removed from East Los Angeles schools. This will be decided by a Citizens Review Board selected by the Educational Issues Committee.

A few critical thinking questions for students to consider:

a)    What kind of an educational environment are students living in if they feel this is necessary?

b)   How would the lack of said system affect their ability to learn and create positive relationships with teachers and staff members?

c)    What do you think they mean by ‘recognize, understand, and appreciate’? Is the language vague or clear to you? 

The fourth demand shows that the lack of an inclusive curriculum:

IV. Textbooks and curriculum will be developed to show Mexican and Mexican-American contribution to the U.S. society and to show the injustices that Mexicans have suffered as a culture of that society. Textbooks should concentrate on Mexican folklore rather than English

folklore.

 Critical Thinking questions:

a)    Why would an exclusive curriculum affect the way students learn?

b)   How could an exclusive curriculum hinder student participation?

(Consider what that kind of a curriculum tells students about how their heritage is viewed: do they feel valued?)

c) How would having your history be excluded and your protests about your cultural and personal oppressions silenced affect your identity?

 d) What does the exclusion teach the included group about the Mexican American Students?

e) Is your current curriculum inclusive?

V. All administrators where schools have majority of Mexican-American descent shall be of Mexican-American descent. If necessary, training programs should be instituted to provide a cadre of Mexican-American administrators.

Students should consider the following critical thinking questions:

a)    How would the inclusion/exclusion of Mexican-American leadership affect students’ self-perceptions/educational vision?

b)   How would it affect their educational participation?

c)    In what way would that alter the atmosphere

 

 

 

 

VI. Every teacher’s ratio of failure per students in his classroom shall be made available to community groups and students. Any teacher having a particularly high percentage of the total school dropouts in his classes shall be rated by the Citizens Review Board composed of the Educational Issues Committee.

Critical Thinking questions:

a)    What other contextual reasons might students be failing besides intelligence or ability?

(Think prejudice, language, poverty, support, and self-perception)

Homework:

Divvy up the following Facilities, Administrative and Student Rights demands. Same protocol. Give students the critical thinking questions the next day.

Administrative demands:

III. No teacher will be dismissed or transferred because of his political views and/or philosophical disagreements with administrators.

Critical Thinking questions:

a)    What does this say about the educational atmosphere?

b)   How does this demand reflect the opportunities for self-expression in these schools?

c)    Why might the need for this demand be problematic for educational growth and success of Mexican-American students?

This demonstrates the current lack of community involvement:

 

IV. Community parents will be engaged as teacher’s aides. Orientation similar to in-service training, will be provided, and they will be given status as semi-professionals as in the new careers concept.

This demand highlights the lack of structure to encourage Mexican-American parents and all parents to be included in their children’s educational experiences. This demand would address a huge educational issue still present today, the lack of parental involvement in education due to structural, time, and ability restraints. It removes the obstacles to the community members being involved and ensures that they are aware of what exactly is going on.

a)    Do your parents help you with your homework/ ask you about school? How does that help you stay on track academically?

b)   If you didn’t have that, how would that change your academic support system?

c)    Why would it matter to have community buy-in to the educational process as well as community members being able to be involved through a process that encourages their participation rather than makes it more difficult by offering inconvenient hours?

 

     

Facilities:

This demonstrates the lack of materials given to the East LA schools:

 

IV. Library facilities will be expanded in all East Los Angeles high schools. At present the libraries in these high schools do not meet the educational needs of the students. Sufficient library materials will be provided in Spanish.

 

This demand highlights the lack of materials pertaining to their education available for Mexican-American students in East LA. It highlights the need for a learning space where students have access to all the same materials as their peers in order to further their growth.

     Student Rights:

  1. Corporal punishment will only be administrated according to State Law
  2.  Students should have access to any type of literature and should be allowed to bring it on campus.

Working in small groups, students should tie the above demands regarding consequences for intolerance and the demand that students and teachers be protected regardless of political affiliation and participation in protests. How do these things affect the atmosphere?

(All students should write up 1-2 paragraphs summarizing their conclusion for homework [see below])

II. Teachers and administrators will be rated by the students at the end of each semester.

 

    Students should discuss the way that this empowers students and gives them a voice in the system.

            Critical Thinking Question:

a)    How does this check the administrative/staff power?

b)   How does this give students agency over their own education?

This demand demonstrates the need for cultural inclusion:

 

IX. Student menus should be Mexican oriented. When Mexican food is served, mother from the barrios should come to the school and help supervise the preparation of the food. These mothers will meet the food handler requirements of Los Angeles City Schools and they will be compensated for their services.

This demonstrates a way to implement cultural pride and demonstrate the value of Mexican-American heritage given that food is a key part of culture.

Critical Thinking questions:

a) What role does food play in affirming cultural identity?

b) How would you feel if the foods of your culture/ethnicity/identity are degraded or absent from your school environment?

            c) How would you feel if they were included?

Third day:   

Purpose:

Understanding the way demands can reflect the needs of a time.

 

The first half of class will be spent with each groups reading through and discussing the demands they’ve been assigned to deconstruct. Each group should be given a set of critical thinking questions regarding their demand.

After students deconstruct and answer questions as a group (hand out posters to each group and have them answer questions and write their summary on their poster. They should share with the class at which point their peers can ask them questions or weigh in if they have something to add to the answer or a different thought.

         

Homework:

             All students should receive the Student Rights demands and questions:

Student Rights:

  1. Corporal punishment will only be administrated according to State Law.
  2. II. Teachers and administrators will be rated by the students at the end of each semester.
  3. III. Students should have access to any type of literature and should be allowed to bring it on campus.

Working in small groups, students should tie the above demands regarding consequences for intolerance and the demand that students and teachers be protected regardless of political affiliation and participation in protests. How do these things affect the atmosphere?

(All students should write up 1-2 paragraphs summarizing their conclusion for homework [see below])

 

       Fourth day:

Purpose:

            Encourage students to examine the demands within historical context while permitting them to explore with their contemporary values/lens. Enables students to examine the difference between historical context and contemporary context.

Class discussion on the demands.

Ask students why each demand is being asked/whether they think it’s reasonable/ if what they consider reasonable/unreasonable is rooted in their time or in the historical context.

Tell students there will be one more week of discussion regarding the youth movement and then they will be creating a piece of art in response to what they’ve learned. Encourage them to start thinking about what they’d like to do. Tell them they will be able to respond to any of the resources for the unit: book and either document or a combination. They will have the option of producing three drawn/painted pieces, a series of 5-6 poems, a short story, or a screenplay.

Homework:

Handout El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan and instruct students to read and highlight things that are interesting, significant, or confusing.

Fifth day:

Purpose:

Examine and explore statements of identity. 

The second main source is  “El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán” which is a written statement about what it means to be a Chicano Nationalist in the 1960s. In 1969, all across the southwest, a new kind of identity was in the last stages of formation.

Class discussion for first half will focus on the following questions:

1)    How is Chicano identity changing?

2)    What is Aztlan?

3)    How does developing pride in one’s heritage affect one’s self-perception?

4)    What do they mean by sovereign? (Think E-LA demands)

5)    How would you define their Nationalism?

Students will be asked to interpret these quotes and contextualize them and understand the sense of powerlessness felt by these communities without sovereignty as well as examine the way the East LA Blowouts may have empowered youths and altered their believe in their own abilities to make change and be expressed.

Have students look at and discuss the following quotes:

“ With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation.”

 “we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlán.” 

“new people that is conscious …of its proud historical heritage.”

Homework:

Second half of class students will start writing summaries/reflections of the document including at least three quotes, historical context, and significance of the document. It should include definitions of all key terms used.

 

Sample Summary:

The Chicano movement strove to reclaim their identity and cultivate respect for their cultural and historical traditions. The word itself, Chicano became a centerpiece of Chicano nationalist, a movement to create unity and empowerment among both current and future generations. The document confronts the structural, societal, institutionalized racism that has surmounted to be huge obstacles for Mexican-American communities. It decries the racism and puts forward a statement of collective unity that 1969, that emphasizes the creation of a  “new people that is conscious …of its proud historical heritage.”

A key component of the movement is the rejection of previous assimilation-based concepts of identity; instead, the movement seeks to redefine identity through nationalist means. However, nationalist in the context of this document is not to have one’s own nation but to have community control and agency in order to better provide for the needs of these communities.

Sixth day:

Purpose: Begin to apply concepts of educational justice to contemporary experiences.

For the first fifteen minutes of class, they will define “educational justice”.

Thirty-minute class discussion will reference the video watched on the first day so students should pull out their notes.

Guiding discussion questions:

1)    Were the conditions pre-walkouts to have been educationally just?

2)     Did all students have equal opportunity to get an education? 

3) Did they feel students were allowed to speak up and be activist?

4) How were their voices treated by their community?

5) How was their voices treated by the schools? The police? Their peers?

Second half of class students will apply their concepts, knowledge, and terminology to the educational situation of t heir times. Students will look at statistics revealing the demographics of public high schools, the number of students taking AP/advanced classes, graduating, graduating ready to go onto a 4-year university.

Their task will be to construct a response to the following question with evidence (answers may vary): has the Chicano community achieved educational justice and equity since 1968?

 

Website they should look at:

http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/

 

They should look up their school and the schools in their district.

They should take notes on:

the demographics of public high schools,

 the number of students taking AP/advanced classes total

the number/percentage of Chicano students taking AP/Advanced classes

The number of Chicano students graduating

The number of Chicano students graduating ready to go onto a 4-year university.

Students should also bring in personal experience and discuss:

What the curriculum is like at their own school?

Whose histories are being taught?

Are these experiences common or unusual?

Are they allowed to speak a second language at school?

 

 

Seventh day:

Purpose:

To apply their concepts, knowledge, and terminology to the educational situation of their times.

Students will look at statistics revealing the demographics of universities both public and private within their state:

In numbers, how are Chicanos represented?

What percentages of other minorities are represented?

How are the statistics of the previous day and today related?

In other words how do the educational conditions of HS affect the demographics of college?

Look up colleges and search diversity/demographics on those college’s websites.

If it doesn’t come up, try Googling “name demographics/diversity/statistics”

Do any not have the information readily available?

What do they know about schools that don’t have that info?

Look up both private and public schools.

A few they should look up:

Occidental

UCLA

Berkeley

Davis

UC Santa Cruz

CAL Poly SLO

Pitzer

CMC (Claremont McKenna College)

UCSD

UCSB

Chapman

Loyola Marymount

Stanford

Scripps College

Eighth – Twenty-one:

Purpose: Examine content though a creative, emotional, and personal lens.  

Students will work on their creative projects.

Assignment:

Create an artistic representation whether it is drawn/painted or written that represents your response to the movements we’ve been studying. This is a time to reflect your response and react in your own original words. Students can reference and respond to any of the resources: Taking Back the Schools (video), E-LA Walkout Demands, El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan, Racism on Trial or Living La Vida Loca.

Note:

Creative expression can lend itself to needing stronger words than typically acceptable in the classroom. All words are acceptable in one’s piece if enhancing the art so use them wisely. If there is swearing for the sake of swearing as opposed to replicate dialogue or add authenticity, then that might not help the grade because that wasn’t deliberated usage. Students will need to justify why the swearing is in that place in that piece in order to prove that it has a place within the assignment.

There are three main creative options:

(Speak to the teacher if you have another idea)

Visual art:

Should represent or encompass key symbols related to the movements. You can choose the symbols; there should be a message behind the visuals. Encouraged to use symbolism, and colors in order to have impact.

Written Art:

There are three-four options for written art:

Write 3-5 poems representing your response. Poems should include a variety of figurative language: metaphors, similes, personification, symbolism and imagery. Consider devices such as internal rhyme, end rhyme, alliteration, assonance, and consonance in order to get your message across. Write with the intention to be powerful; feel free to put yourself in the shoes of a student, teacher, and community member, authority involved. Tell what you believe to be their perspective.

The following website can give you ideas for types of poetry if you’d like to try something new:

http://www.shadowpoetry.com

I wrote an example that could be read as prose poetry (also a short story):

https://docs.google.com/a/students.pitzer.edu/document/d/1GdlJlAzKl90eulTLAbhEYvcXoNoBlE8inknyDEZnIKc/edit

Purely Prose poetry:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eRhsSmjpSx58asxWKk45lJNoUuBPNB5YXe4jOj8BsLQ/edit

However, you are also more than welcome to stick with free verse, traditional rhyme, or prose poetry if that’s your preference.

Short story:

 

Write a short story from the perspective of 2-3 characters involved in the Blowouts. You are encouraged to look at opposing viewpoints and include them in order to create conflict within your story. The time period in your story should include the Walkouts (1968) or the Vietnam Moratorium but it can start as far back or forward as you’d like. The story should include plot, character development, imagery, figurative language and symbolism as well. Be creative and out of the box; use emotional appeal to drive it home. Keep it less than 10 pages but if going over is crucial to the story then that’s acceptable. Write at least 2-3 pages single-spaced.

Here’s an example for short story:

(Could be read as prose poetry or as a short story)

https://docs.google.com/a/students.pitzer.edu/document/d/1GdlJlAzKl90eulTLAbhEYvcXoNoBlE8inknyDEZnIKc/edit

Script:

 

      Pick a specific historical event in the context of what we’ve studied. It could be the Blowouts or the Moratorium. You ca pick another event mentioned in one of our resources but if we haven’t talked about it as in depth you will be expected to research the elements required to make it genuine and authentic.

Write 2-3 scenes (either for the stage of screen) as your creative response.

I recommend writing in a Google doc to make editing and formatting easier but depending on resources that can be waived. Students are encouraged to at least attempt formatting in regards to wording but doing the margins and spacing shouldn’t be required.

A few things to think about:

Think showing rather than telling i.e. letting stage directions be symbolic and demonstrate the feelings/emotions.

How can actors demonstrate the emotion?

Stage directions should have a fine balance of figurative language because they are only what is done or seen rather than what is felt.

Example script:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wuWgqk4FBIJejN8d9eWgquH8dHrKuGwgWBrhtTTgFYc/edit

*Teacher’s notes: If students format it appropriately and completely, that should put them in an advanced category for grading.

Screenplay formatting resources:

(Students can pick one and should just mention which website they use)

http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/howtoformatascreenplay

http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_format.html

Stage play formatting resource:

http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/howtoformatastageplay

Rap:

Students are welcome to write a rap (2-3 pages?) if that fits their voice. Rap has been a crucial part of the evolution of performance poetry; it offers a voice to many who previously didn’t and is a uniquely powerful expression. Students are expected to use internal/end rhyme and various types of methods to achieve rhythm. Students should use some degree of figurative language and word diction in their piece although the imagery can be more stripped down since that fits the theme of rap.

If students check this option out they are recommended to check out the following artists who write very social justice oriented raps.

Here is a list of artists and songs in the hip hop genre whose focus is very social justice oriented:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z-A5GxOsQjpb3FzJhSttxwWxelc5vgKaaxF92XWHtBs/edit

 

Song:

Students who are musically inclined or like expression through music are welcome to write song lyrics as a response. Song lyrics should be emotional with symbolism and figurative language. Both creativity and tune are important. Students can write a song with rhyme or without whichever they are inspired to do. If students would like they are welcome to write for an instrument and performance it. Students should feel free to write for any genre.

Song lyrics should have:

Chorus

At least 3 verses

One bridge

One hook

Here is a list of artists and songs that are social justice oriented:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i0WboC6RtibyG2zPePiNenT3Pz0a_u7pNam7Hr2hdMM/edit

Overarching timeline:

Students should have two weeks to brainstorm, write, and workshop their creative pieces. They should be working on it for at least half of class time in order to feel amply supported. Teachers should meet with each student one-on-one at least twice to discuss their project and ideas (during work-time). Teachers can create deadlines based on abilities and what makes sense in regards to when drafts are expected. The last few days of class should be gallery/performances of anyone who wants to perform or showcase their work.

Students should present professional well thought out pieces but teachers should be careful about grading since art and emotional responses are subjective.

 

Sources used:

  1. Haney-López, Ian. Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 2003. Print.
  2. Rodriguez, Luis J. Always Running La Vida Loca, Gang Days in LA. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. Print.
  3. DOCUMENT – E.L.A HIGH SCHOOL WALK-OUT DEMANDS.” Latinopiacom DOCUMENT ELA HIGH SCHOOL WALKOUT DEMANDS Comments. N.p., 06 Mar. 2010. Web. 04 May 2013.
  4. El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán. Chicano Youth Liberation Conference. Denver, Colorado. March 1969. Public Domain

 Standards:

1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

3. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

4. Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

5. Students compare the present with the past, evaluating the consequences of past events and decisions and determining the lessons that were learned.

6. Students analyze how change happens at different rates at different times; understand that some aspects can change while others remain the same; and understand that change is complicated and affects not only technology and politics but also values and beliefs.

7. Students relate current events to the physical and human characteristics of places and regions.

8. Students interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present-day norms and values.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: