Children’s literature; Hispanic Americans in literature; Race in literature; Stereotypes (Social psychology) in literature; Student teachers


In an effort to humanize the curriculum, to honor student voice and identity, and tap the cultural and linguistic knowledge of our students, two teacher educators engage their preservice teachers in the collective use of Chicana/o children’s literature. The authors describe a series of questions they designed in order to scaffold teachers' ability to analyze the extent to which literature stereotypes Chicano/a children, rejects their linguistic realities, and/or minimizes existing inequities. A series of assignments challenge preservice teachers' simplistic conceptualizations of inequality. In addition, they create a critical literacy poster/lesson plan, which can empower youth by simultaneously fostering academic competence and engaging them in social action.