Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

First Advisor

Maria José Botelho

Second Advisor

Barbara Cruikshank

Third Advisor

Sangeeta Kamat

Subject Categories



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 of charros, tlacuaches and mapaches represent some of the diverse sites of friction where teachers interact. Additionally, movements of diverse inquiries is derived from the definition Michel Foucault gives to "critical" which leads to the primary guiding question: 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 have proven insufficient for teachers and others engaged in a multi-sited, decades-long protest movement. The five social practices showcased here demonstrate ways teachers navigate in and out of the State Secretariat of Education and the radical union, illustrating that the messy life of teaching is complex. The practices show how activities often disassociated with pedagogy and political projects: eating, drinking, gossiping, play, all help teachers and other school-based actors enact and sustain their critical projects.


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