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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

Spring 2014

First Advisor

Laura Valdiviezo

Second Advisor

Mari Castaneda

Third Advisor

Sally Galman

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of 10 Chicana scholars who live and work on the southwest border of the United States. The literature reveals a severe underrepresentation of Chicanas in higher education over the last 40 years as well as a critical need for more current research and methodologies that have a potential to validate the lived experiences of this group. This study is based on a Chicana feminist epistemology as it explores institutional, economic, and cultural challenges and interrogates issues related to ethnicity, gender, social class, culture, political practice, and how these have impacted the lives of 10 women on the southwestern border of the United States. Testimonio serves as process (interviewing and transcribing), as product (audiotapes and transcriptions), and as pedagogy as it re-envisions the sites of learning for Chicanas. Analysis and results from testimonios demonstrate that Internalized Oppression, Patriarchy, and Support and Coping played a role in the experiences of these women. Implications include the need for social justice studies in higher education, particularly for educators, and inclusion of Mexican American history in textbooks. Testimonio can also become a powerful tool in efforts to involve parents in schools by providing them with opportunities to name obstacles related to the academic progress oftheir children. Testimonio has the potential to become an effective way open dialogues that further encourage parents to become agents of change in partnership with schools.

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