Border Pedagogy for Teacher Preparation

The College of Education as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is poised as the leader in the development of an HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution) identity that embraces the significance of its role in the education of our mostly first-generation college attending, Mexican/Mexican-American student population. Within this college community, we are a group of faculty exploring the special, context-specific pedagogies for the preparation of Latinx teachers that capitalizes on their strengths and addresses their needs.


Alcione N. Ostorga, Kip Austin Hinton and Christian Zúñiga

Educators in general, are well aware of the need for specific teaching strategies that meet the needs of learners. For this reason, there are developmentally appropriate practices (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009) to teach children that are specific to their age and developmental level. Similarly, there are culturally relevant (Ladson-Billings, 1995) and sustaining (Paris, 2012) practices for diverse students that harmonize with their cultural and linguistic backgrounds. These kinds of research-based practices make teaching learner-centered, leading to learning that promotes a holistic kind of development.

Likewise, the preparation of teachers requires expert knowledge of learner-centered practices that take into consideration the specific needs and strengths of the teacher candidates (TCs). There are specific complexities in the learning process of these TCs because as adults, they come into teacher preparation courses with preconceived notions of the teaching profession based on their experiences as students from the time they began as students in early childhood and elementary education. These world views, or perspectives of how the world functions, may be erroneous, or outdated, especially as they relate to learning. Thus, the preparation of TCs requires transformational learning (Meziorw, 2000) which can lead to the desired outcomes, a professional readiness to promote learning and optimal development in all students.

For TCs of Latinx cultural and linguistic backgrounds, perspectives about language and culture, as well as its value in the formation of the diverse learners in their classrooms, may have to be deconstructed due to the negative effects of the social stigma and subtractive schooling they experienced. Therefore, the preparation of Latinxs TCs requires specific pedagogies to promote the professional development of future teachers as professionals with a critical stance and advocacy skills.

The knowledge of specific pedagogies for this population of TCs has evolved over the past 20 years, as teacher educators who have worked with large numbers of Latinx in their teacher preparation programs have realized the need to address the different aspects of the sociocultural contexts that have impacted their students’ development. Yet, there is a need to synthesize this growing body of knowledge of pedagogies for Latinx TCs, especially those along the US-Mexico border because the social, political and historical fabric of this region in the US presents special challenges for teacher educators.

We present here a website that represents a resource center for teacher educators working with Latinx TCs. This website brings together the growing body of knowledge of Border Pedagogies For Teacher Preparation through the use of annotated bibliographies of published empirical research and theoretical work, along with links to specific publications for further study. We also include here our work in progress as we conduct a meta-synthesis of research studies in the form of presentations and short papers shared at various conferences.


Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. Third Edition. National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465–491.

Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning as transformation: critical perspectives on a theory in progress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Paris, D. (2012). Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice. Educational Researcher, 41(3), 93–97.

Qualitative Studies
Quantitative Studies
Mixed Methods

  Qualitative Studies = 27
1 Aguilar, J. A., MacGillivray, L., & Walker, N. T. (2003). Latina educators and school discourse: Dealing with tension on the path to success. Journal of Latinos and Education, 2(2), 89–100.
2 Assaf, L. C. & López, M. M. & (2014). Developing Deeper Understandings of Diversity: Service Learning and Field Experiences Combine for Generative Learning of Bilingual/ESL Preservice Teachers. In Research on Preparing Preservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Vol. 21, pp. 31–57). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
3 Banes, L. C., Martínez, D. C., Athanases, S. Z., & Wong, J. W. (2016). Self-Reflexive Inquiry Into Language Use and Beliefs: Toward More Expansive Language Ideologies. International Multilingual Research Journal, 10(3), 168–187.
4 Caldas Chumbes, B. G. (2016). Performing the advocate bilingual teacher: drama-based interventions for future story-making.
5 Estrada, V. L. (1999). Living and Teaching Along the U.S./Mexico Border: Midwestern Student Interns’ Cultural Adaptation Experiences in Texas Schools. Bilingual Research Journal, 23(2–3), 247–275.
6 Farruggio, P. (2009). Bilingual Education: Using a Virtual Guest Speaker and Online Discussion To Expand Latino Preservice Teachers’ Consciousness. Multicultural Education, 17(1), 33–37. Retrieved from
7 Flores, B. B., Keehn, S., & Pérez, B. (2002). Critical need for bilingual education teachers: The potentiality of normalistas and paraprofessionals. Bilingual Research Journal, 26(3), 501–524.
8 Guerrero, M. D., & Guerrero, M. C. (2017). Competing discourses of academic Spanish in the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Bilingual Research Journal, 40(1), 5–19.
9 Lavadenz, M & Colon-Muñiz, A. (2017). The preparation of latino/a teachers: A LatCrit analysis of the role of university centers and latino/a teacher development. In P. C. Ramirez, , C. J. Faltis, & E. J. D. Jong (Eds.) Learning from Emergent Bilingual Latinx Learners in K-12: Critical Teacher Education. Routledge.
10 Hampton, E., Liguori, O., & Rippberger, S. (2003). Binational Border Collaboration in Teacher Education. Multicultural Education, 11(1), 2–10. Retrieved from
11 Mullen, C. (1997). Hispanic Preservice Teachers & Professional Development. Latino Studies Journal, 8(1), 3–35.
12 Musanti, S. I. (2014). ?Porque sé los dos idiomas.? Biliteracy Beliefs and Bilingual Preservice Teacher Identity. In Research on Preparing Preservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Vol. 21, pp. 59–87). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
13 Musanti, S. I., & Rodríguez, A. D. . (2017). Translanguaging in bilingual teacher preparation: Exploring pre-service bilingual teachers’ academic writing. Bilingual Research Journal, 40(1), 38–54.
14 Ostorga, A. N., & Farruggio, P. (2014). Discovering Best Practices for Bilingual Teacher Preparation: A Pedagogy for the Border. In Y. Freeman & D. Freeman (Eds.), Advances in Research on Teaching (Vol. 21, pp. 113–136). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
15 Ostorga, A. N., & Farruggio, P. (2018). Preparing bilingual teachers on the U.S./Mexico border: including the voices of emergent bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1–13.
16 Prieto, L. (2017) Conciencia con compromise. In P. C. Ramirez, , C. J. Faltis, & E. J. D. Jong (Eds.) Learning from Emergent Bilingual Latinx Learners in K-12: Critical Teacher Education. Routledge.
17 Ramirez, A. Y. (2005). Esperanza’s Lessons: Learning about Education through the Eyes of the Innocent. Multicultural Education, 13(2), 47–51. Retrieved from
18 Rodriguez, A. (2013). Bilingual and ESL Pre-Service Teachers Learn about Effective Instruction for ELLs through Meaningful Collaboration. Gist Education and Learning Research Journal, 7, 12–34.
19 Rodríguez, A. D. & Musanti, S. I. (2014). Preparing Latina/o Bilingual Teachers to Teach Content in Spanish to Emergent Bilingual Students on the US?Mexico Border. In Research on Preparing Preservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Vol. 21, pp. 201–232). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
20 Salinas, C., & Castro, A. J. (2010). Disrupting the Official Curriculum: Cultural Biography and the Curriculum Decision Making of Latino Preservice Teachers. Theory & Research in Social Education, 38(3), 428–463.
21 Salinas, C., Vickery, A. E., & Franquiz, M. (2016). Advancing Border Pedagogies: Understandings of Citizenship Through Comparisons of Home to School Contexts. High School Journal, 99(4), 322–336. Retrieved from
22 Sánchez, P., & Ek, L. D. (2009). Escuchando a Las Maestras/os: Immigration Politics and Latina/o Preservice Bilingual Educators. Bilingual Research Journal, 31(1–2), 271–294.
23 Sarmiento-Arribalzaga, M. A., & Murillo, L. A. (2010). Pre-Service Bilingual Teachers and Their Invisible Scars: Implications for Preparation Programs. SRATE Journal, 19(1), 61–69. Retrieved from
24 Soto, A. C., Lum, C.-H., & Campbell, P. S. (2009). University—School Music Partnership for Music Education Majors in a Culturally Distinctive Community. Journal of Research in Music Education, 56(4), 338–356.
25 Soto, M. (2014). A Self-Study of Teacher Educator Practice: Strategies and Activities to Use with Authentic Texts. In Research on Preparing Preservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Vol. 21, pp. 233–255). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
26 Téllez, K. (1999). Mexican-American preservice teachers and the intransigency of the elementary school curriculum. Teaching and Teacher Education, 15(5), 555–570.
27 Wong, J. W., Athanases, S. Z., & Banes, L. C. (2017). Developing as an agentive bilingual teacher: self-reflexive and student-learning inquiry as teacher education resources. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1–17.


Quantitative Studies = 6
Athanases, S. Z., Banes, L. C., & Wong, J. W. (2015). Diverse Language Profiles: Leveraging Resources of Potential Bilingual Teachers of Color. Bilingual Research Journal, 38(1), 65–87.
Clark, E. R., & Flores, B. B. (2001). Who am I? The social construction of ethnic identity and self-perceptions in Latino preservice teachers. The Urban Review, 33(2), 69–86.
Flores, B. B., & Clark, E. R. (2004). A Critical Examination of Normalistas’ Self-Conceptualization and Teacher-Efficacy. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 26(2), 230–257.
Flores, B. B., Clark, E. R., Guerra, N. S., & Sánchez, S. V. (2008). Acculturation Among Latino Bilingual Education Teacher Candidates: Implications for Teacher Preparation Institutions. Journal of Latinos and Education, 7(4), 288–304.
Flores, B. B., Clark, E. R., Guerra, N. S., Casebeer, C. M., Sánchez, S. V., & Mayall, H. J. (2010). Measuring the Psychosocial Characteristics of Teacher Candidates Through the Academic Self-Identity: Self-Observation Yearly (ASI SOY) Inventory. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 32(1), 136–163.
Garrity, S., Aquino-Sterling, C. R., Van Liew, C., & Day, A. (2016). Beliefs about bilingualism, bilingual education, and dual language development of early childhood preservice teachers raised in a Prop 227 environment. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1–18.


Mixed Methods = 5
Diaz, Z., Whitacre, M., Esquierdo, J., & Ruiz-Escalante, J. (2013). Why did I ask that question? Bilingual/ESL PreService Teachers’ Insights. International Journal of Instruction, 6(2), 164–176.
Flores, B. B., & Riojas, E. (1997). High-Stakes Testing: Barriers for Prospective Bilingual Education Teachers. Bilingual Research Journal, 21(4), 345–357.
Flores, B. B., Clark, E. R., Claeys, L., & Villarreal, A. (2007). Academy for Teacher Excellence: Recruting [i.e. Recruiting], Preparing, and Retaining Latino Teachers through Learning Communities. Teacher Education Quarterly, 34(4), 53–69. Retrieved from
Milk, R. (1990). Preparing ESL and Bilingual Teachers for Changing Roles: Immersion for Teachers of LEP children. TESOL Quarterly, 24(3), 407–426.
Oliva, M., & Staudt, K. (2003). Pathways to Teaching: Latino Student Choice and Professional Identity Development in a Teacher Training Magnet Program Special Issue: Partnering for Equity. Equity & Excellence in Education, 36(3), 270–279.


Theoretical/Conceptual - 6
Flores, B. B., Ek, L. D., & Sánchez, P. (2010). Bilingual Education Candidate Ideology. In B. B. Flores, R. Hernández Sheets, & E. R. Clark (Eds.), Teacher preparation for bilingual student populations: Educar para transformar (pp. 40–58). New York, NY: Routledge.
Franquiz, M. & Salinas, C. (2017). In search of the civic histories, identities, and experiences of Latina/o immigrant students. In P. C. Ramirez, , C. J. Faltis, & E. J. D. Jong (Eds.) Learning from Emergent Bilingual Latinx Learners in K-12: Critical Teacher Education. Routledge.
Palmer, D., & Martinez, R. (2013). Teacher Agency in Bilingual Spaces: A fresh look at preparing teachers to educate Latino/a children. Review of Research in Education, 37, 269–297. Review
Reyes, R. (2017). Humanizing through presence, proximity and problematizing Latino/a ELLs in teacher education. In P. C. Ramirez, , C. J. Faltis, & E. J. D. Jong (Eds.) Learning from Emergent Bilingual Latinx Learners in K-12: Critical Teacher Education. Routledge. Pedagogical self-reflection
Reza-Lopez, E., Charles, L. H., & Reyes, L. (2014). Nepantlera Pedagogy: An Axiological Posture for Preparing Critically Conscious Teachers in the Borderlands. Journal of Latinos & Education, 13(2), 107–119. Theoretical
Reyes, R. (2016). In a World of Disposable Students: The humanizing elements of border pedagogy in teacher education. The High School Journal, 337–350.