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Movements of diverse inquiries as critical teaching practices among charros, tlacuaches and mapaches

Stephen T Sadlier, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This year-long participant observation qualitative case study draws together five social practices of mid-career elementary school educators in the Mexican southeastern state of Oaxaca: a protest march, a roadblock, the use of humor, a school-based book fair and alternate uses of time and space in school. The title terms charros, tlacuaches and mapaches represent some of the diverse sites of friction within witch teachers interact. Additionally, movements of diverse inquiries is derived from the definition Michel Foucault gives to critical which leads to the primary guiding question of: how have Oaxacan teachers engaged in critical pedagogical practices? The study finds that contemporary commonsense dimensions of critical pedagogy which involve developing teacher awareness toward relations of power and facilitating direct interventions in community realities of inequity prove insufficient for teachers and others engaged in a multi-sited, decades-long protest movement. The five social practices showcased here demonstrate ways teacher navigate in and out of the State Secretariat of Education and the radical union, proving that the messy life of teaching proves complex. The practices show how activities often disassociated with pedagogy and political projects: eating, drinking, gossiping play help teachers and other school-based actors enact and sustain their critical projects. It concludes that discourses often associated with acritical humanism are important additions to critical pedagogy taken on in places of intensified conflict. ^

Subject Area

Educational sociology|Pedagogy|Elementary education|Latin American studies

Recommended Citation

Sadlier, Stephen T, "Movements of diverse inquiries as critical teaching practices among charros, tlacuaches and mapaches" (2012). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3545983.