Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



The goal of this self-study is to understand and make visible the process by which one first-year White, middle class, and female teacher in a largely Mexican/Mexican-American community creates curriculum that centers voices from marginalized backgrounds in efforts to engage students lived realities and challenge the traditional curriculum of a 9th grade English Language Arts classroom. This curriculum was developed while enrolled in a teacher education course titled, EDUC 593: Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Area: Engaging Literacy through Latin American Testimonios of Struggle and Survival. This course serves to the inform choices made in curriculum as well as guide this self-study in order to shed light on how I came to understand literacy and education, especially for marginalized adolescents of Mexican/Mexican-American descent. This paper describes how Testimonio as pedagogy advises Culturally Relevant Teaching, and argues for an expanded definition of literacy. Findings from curriculum data are paralleled with data from the teacher education course, the analysis of these two sources reveals the realities of teaching through Testimonio in both curriculum and pedagogy.


Critical Pedagogy, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Testimonio, First Year Teacher, Teacher Education, Self-Study, Curriculum

Document Type




Degree Name

Secondary Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mia Sosa-Provencio

Second Committee Member

Donald A. Zancanella

Third Committee Member

Laura Haniford

Fourth Committee Member

Courtney Angermeier