Minority students and teacher knowledge: The potential of “saberes docentes”

Ernst-Slavit, G. y Poveda, D. (2011). Minority students and teacher knowledge: The potential of “saberes docentes”. Pedagogies, 6 (1), 1-15.

Drawing heavily on the work of the French sociologist Agnes Heller, Latin American anthropologists and educators proposed the notion of saberes docentes, roughly translated as “teacher knowledge”, to account for the knowledge acquired through everyday trials and rehearsals of specific problems along with the accompanying reflective processes. In this paper, we argue in favour of incorporating the notion of saberes docentes into our current understanding of educators’ work with ethnic minority students in urban and semi-urban educational contexts. To support this argument, we discuss data from two different research settings involving the education of ethnic minority children: (a) the educational programmes organized by a Gitano (gypsy) cultural association that employs several non-Gitano educators in a small city in central Spain; and (b) schools employing bilingual teaching assistants – both immigrant and non immigrant – working with immigrant students in the northwest region of the United States.

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