Dissertation: Gema Godina-Martínez

Cohort 1, published 2010


The Sustainability of Critical Xicana/Xicano Educators


There is a need for scholarship that speaks specifically to how critical Xicana/o educators cope and sustain themselves in the face of continual resistance by colleagues and unsupportive school administrators that discount and otherwise silence their voices. This type of research is critical because of the tremendous role that critical Xicana/o educators play in the educational experiences of Raza students in an otherwise failed system. Given this position, there is a need for expanded scholarship that addresses their subsequent need for support networks to sustain them in the education profession. This study examined eight members of the Colectiva, a support network of high school and university Raza educators in Northern California. This research was based on critical ethnographic methodology which included fieldwork, interactions and dialogs with each participant. Other sources of data included focus groups and journal writing. The findings demonstrated that the Colectiva served as a space in which the participant’s found personal, professional, and emotional growth that worked to sustain them in the education profession. Beyond sustainability, the participants realized the magnitude and responsibility associated with referring to themselves as critical Xicana/o educators both as a professional commitment and in working toward a greater dimension.

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