Recognize that Latino labor is the backbone of the United States, by both fueling the economy and allowing Americans to eat cheaply, buy inexpensively constructed homes, buy inexpensive products that have been assembled on both sides of the border, and enjoy beautiful landscaping.
Understand the Latino labor movement’s purpose, length, key figures, and effect to ultimately acknowledge how Latinos themselves fought for and earned their rights to be treated as valuable American workers.
Develop the knowledge to support the argument that since Latino labor is crucial for a thriving economy, and it impacts the daily lives of all Americans, it is our responsibility to dismantle myths regarding their merited place in society and end racist sentiment.
Explore new narratives pertaining to Latino labor to broaden awareness on what it truly means to be a Latino labor worker in America. Through personal stories and testimonies, we will see a new and important side to the legacy Latino laborers leave behind and continue to make in the United States.
Latinos, both born here and immigrants, are the backbone of our country, as they have contributed to its economic wealth and prosperity and they are the primary group that feeds America. However, they are often discriminated against and have received harsh scrutiny on numerous accounts, especially when they are considered for their labor in America. We need to take initiative to become educated on Latinos’ integral role in our society–how they impact our daily lives, boost our economy, and create a richer, more culturally diverse and talented populace. With the ultimate goal of understanding their struggle,hard work, and achievements under seemingly impossible odds, we can create a more open minded, just, and inclusive future and healthier countr
Below you will find the take-aways and goals for the topic of Labor.
- Recognize that Latino labor is the backbone of the United States, by both fueling the economy and allowing Americans to eat cheaply, buy inexpensively constructed homes, buy inexpensive products that have been assembled on both sides of the border, and enjoy beautiful landscaping. The U.S Latino workforce includes doctors, nurses, lawyers, agency directors, educators, and law enforcement officers.
- Understand the Latino labor movement’s purpose, length, key figures, and effect to ultimately acknowledge how Latinos themselves fought for and earned their rights to be treated as valuable American workers.
- Develop the knowledge to support the argument that since Latino labor is crucial for a thriving economy, and it impacts the daily lives of all Americans, it is our responsibility to dismantle myths regarding their merited place in society and end racist sentiment.
- Explore new narratives pertaining to Latino labor to broaden awareness on what it truly means to be a Latino labor worker in America. Through personal stories and testimonies, we will see a new and important side to the legacy Latino laborers leave behind and continue to make in the United States.
Important terms to know
Words you will need to know to understand the language being used in regards to the subject of Labor
This term describes the things that help us move through society, such as knowledge, skills, and education. This is typically learned through one’s culture.
This term describes the tendency to focus on a student’s weakness instead of the student’s strength.
This term is used to refer to U.S.-educated ESL students who usually arrive in the United States after they have completed primary school in their home countries. They are between the first and second generations and that is what gives them their nickname.
An approach to learning that emphasizes the student’s role in the learning process. Rather than the teacher telling students what they need to know, students are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions, and share ideas.
History on Education and Language
Noted scholar Paolo Freire first described in the 1960s a common dynamic in the classroom that he called the “banking” system of education where the teacher is acknowledged as an “all-knowing” person that often translates curriculum knowledge to students in a static way. Students recognize the power dynamic because they are treated as if they do not know anything and must be taught all of the information.
However, cultural capital (the knowledge one has from being a part of a particular group or culture) is essential in education. Not every student will know how stocks work, for example, but every student will know what they have learned from their culture and world around them. Teachers who want to leverage the cultural capital of children of color and build on their cultural knowledge bases must use inquiry-based learning that critiques traditional notions of learning and knowing, and offers an alternative framework that integrates the knowledge of both teachers and students.
CT: Connections To Local Realities
This video explores the challenges to dual language teaching. Even when schools truly want bilingual fluency for children, providing it can be more difficult than it looks. Part of the problem lies in how we measure competencies. Mastery tests measure one’s ability to speak English assuming one has spoken nothing else. Bilingualism takes longer to develop, and one must use a longer measuring stick. Unfortunately, to compound lack of proper measurement standards, overcrowding in classrooms diminishes language teaching effectiveness as well.
As we have learned through the history section, there is a long timeline of people who are for and against bilingual education. Many schools today focus on English-only methods, and perceive Spanish-speaking skills as a hindrance to language success in a deficit-model way of thinking. Drilling grammar into children, rather than using more interactive methods of teaching that incorporate students’ cultural knowledge bases, often alienate children and lead to feelings of cultural invalidation. Daisy Hernandez in her autobiography Cup of Water Under My Bed and Diane Guerrero in her book In the Country We Love: My Family Divided both discuss their feelings of cultural rejection in school.
The video “Learning Matters: The Language War In New Britain” also shows that parents and students need more support from schools as they face personal issues that can affect students and their participation in class.
Studies have proven that proficy in a language is determined by conversations people can hold in that language rather than the grammatical aspect of the language. According to the 2017 consensus study report, “Promoting the Educational Successes of Children and Youth Learning English,” it was discovered that students acquire language proficiency within 4 to 7 years with bilingual education. However, without bilingual education, it takes students 7-9 years to achieve language proficiency.
The following video “Personalized Learning at Hartford Public Schools” reveals the benefits of personalized and interactive teaching, which contrasts from the overcrowded and noninteractive teaching seen in the previous video. It is important to see the contributions that are being made in our state as we improve the quality of education.
For further information on the contributions that the Latinx community has made to Connecticut education and local organizations, visit the “Puerto Rican Impact on CT” and “Social Justice” under our tab.
Companion Pieces For Students
To the right, we have listed some companion pieces teachers can add or recommend for students. The first four pieces are books that are made to tell different stories of people in the Latinx community. The second row has four movie recommendations for the classroom.
Lastly, we have linked four videos that talk about different perspectives people have on bilingualism and the educational system. We included two slam poetry videos on the educational system and bilingualism, a quick informational video on the benefits of bilingualism, and a video on people who are trying to reclaim their heritage by learning Spanish later in their lives.
The House on Mango Street
A story about a young Chicana and what it is like growing up a Latina immigrant in Chicago
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
This is a coming-of-age story about four sisters from the Dominican Republic
The Poet X
Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, who goes by X, works through the tension and conflict in her family by writing poetry. The book was well received and won multiple awards at the 2019 Youth Media Awards.
Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook
Dear fans of Dork Diaries and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life—story about a confident Latina pitcher and her journey of self-improvement
This movie, “explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.”
In Tucson, Arizona, high-schoolers and teachers try their best to save their ethinc studies class from being removed.
A teacher becomes a mentor to Chicano high-school students protesting injustices in public schools in 1968.
Chicano! Taking Back Our Schools
The movie documents the 1968 walkout by thousands of Mexican-American high school students in East Los Angeles against unfair treatment in their schools.