Creating the conditions for supporting learning and identity in community
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
3:50 PM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (30 minutes)
Convention Center - 205 B
Public education in the United States reveals a history of difficulties in addressing the learning needs of nonmainstream youth and in particular their identity as learners. Over the past 25 years of designing optimal learning environments based on sociocultural theories of learning and development, research on the original La Clase Mágica (LCM) in Southern California, has concluded that these difficulties are centered on the students lack of access to previous knowledge as pivots to negotiate the nuances and intentions of mainstream education and their developing identities as learners, setting these young people on a path to learning challenges and ultimately social exclusion. Adapting the learning context to the sociocultural and sociopolitical realities of the new cultural community has been one-way. LCM has addressed these issues in other iterations of the program (Vásquez, 2003, Vásquez, Flores & Clark, 2014). Another has been the inclusion of community members as key partners in the problem-solving process. Noting these challenges, collaborators at the San Pasqual Reservation, located in San Diego County, named their variation of the program, TACKLE (Technology and Culture, Kumeyaay Literacy Education) to address issues they consider of ultimate concern as the underperformance of Native youth in public school (Vásquez & Marcello, 2010). Over the last 16 years, TACKLE has endeavored to design an educational program that best fits their cultural and educational needs. This presentation will focus on the ways that LCM has morphed to the cultural and pedagogical strategies of the Native American community of San Pasqual in Southern Californian and on the gains it has made in the process. Reviewing 16 years of ethnographic field notes written by novice researchers enrolled in a practicum course at the University of California, San Diego and interviewing past participants as well as reviewing their academic trajectories, we hope to show the success TACKLE has had in incorporating cultural knowledge and practice as foundational for learning and the development of learning identities. By all indications, we will conclude that TACKLE has pursued a fruitful approach for participants and their learning lives at school. We expect that our analysis will show that TACKLE has had a positive impact on child participants both at the after school site and school. We also expect that these lessons will be fruitful thought at the other Native American reservations in the area.