Theses Doctoral

“Fotos y Recuerdos”: Latinx Early Childhood Teachers Counter-Story Through FotoHistorias

Perez, Aura Y.

Given the growing racial and ethnic disproportionality amongst young Latinxs and early childhood teachers against the established benefits of racial and ethnic matching between students and teachers, in this study I aimed to gain insight into the often ignored trajectories and experiences of Latinx early childhood educators. In this study, I endeavored to address the need for more Latinx early childhood teachers to teach the growing majority of Latinx young children. I situated my study in Los Angeles, California, given the growing presence of Latinxs in Los Angeles County’s population and in its public-school system. It is in such a context that I sought to document and learn from the counter-stories of five Latinx early childhood teachers teaching Latinx young children.Utilizing Latinx Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) as a guiding theoretical framework and a project in humanization orientation, I posed the following research questions:

1. How do Latinx early childhood teachers in the County of Los Angeles, California (where Latinxs are the growing demographic majority) verbally portray their stories of becoming early educators?
2. How do Latinx early childhood teachers verbally portray their stories as early childhood educators in a community where Latinxs are the growing demographic majority?
3. As they reflect on becoming and being Latinx early childhood teachers, what consejos do they have for the field of early childhood education if it is serious about supporting the growth of Latinx early childhood teachers?

This study involved a FotoHistorias methodology, which entailed utilizing participatory photography and pláticas (conversational interviews) to elicit lived experiences to “counter” deficit-oriented majoritarian stories of Latinx teachers, families, communities, and young children. Data were comprised of participatory photography, pláticas, and researcher memos. Findings, presented as counter-stories, shed light on necessary transformations in the field of early childhood teaching and teacher education. Implications point toward the importance of listening to and learning from Latinx early childhood teachers’ memoried experiences and stories, as they stand to inform the recruitment and retention of Latinx teachers within the field of early childhood education.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Curriculum and Teaching
Thesis Advisors
Souto-Manning, Mariana V.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 1, 2021