In Gregory Fernando Pappas (ed.), Pragmatism in the Americas. Fordham University Press (2011)

Kim Diaz
El Paso Community College
Subtractive schooling is a type of pedagogy that subtracts from the student aspects of her identity in order to assimilate and reshape her identity to fit the American mainstream. Here, I question the value of assimilation as it takes place in our public school systems. Currently, immigrant children are often made to feel inadequate for being culturally different. This is detrimental to their development as students given that at their young age they do not yet have the emotional maturity to know that their experience, language and culture are legitimate and valuable. My goal is to shift the focus of subtractive schooling to one that fosters the growth of students through recognition. I suggest that John Dewey’s and Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of recognition is a helpful approach to this problem. Both Dewey and Freire’s pedagogy emphasize recognition as central to their pedagogy.
Keywords Latin American Philosophy  Critical Pedagogy  Paulo Freire  John Dewey  Assimilation  Mexican Americans
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