Politics of Care: Understanding an Embodied Ethnic Studies Pedagogy

Summer 2018

China Ruiz : Ethnic Studies + Chicano Studies, Education Minor

Donor: Wishek Fund
Mentor: Victoria Robinson

In September 2016, Governor Jerry Brown passed a bill that called for the implementation of an Ethnic Studies program in California public high schools. This moment follows decades of student-led movements fighting for a culturally relevant education. The implementation of this bill necessitates an examination of the ways current Ethnic Studies curriculums are being practiced. As Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales alerted us to in “Toward an Ethnic Studies Pedagogy,” this celebration comes with an urgency to address Ethnic Studies pedagogies given the number of teachers who will be placed in these classroom without the proper training or credentialing. In my research, I focus on the San Francisco Unified School District teachers as leaders and agents of change in the larger movement of Ethnic Studies. I explore the following questions: What does an embodied ethnic studies pedagogy look like in a high school classroom? How do Ethnic Studies teachers describe the embodiment of their pedagogies? This project collaborates with teachers to document the personal practices in the classroom that add to the visions of Ethnic Studies as a field. 

I am so incredibly grateful, and would like to give thanks to the Wishek Fund for funding my summer research. As an underrepresented queer researcher of color, my sustainability and wellness is crucial to my scholarly work. This funding will allow me to dedicate all my time this summer to completing interviews and position me to complete my honors thesis this fall!