Lessons from the Educational Borderlands: Documenting the Pedagogies of Migration of Chicana/o, Latina/o Undocumented Immigrant Students and Households

  • Corina Benavides López


This theory-building research, based on analysis of oral history interviews and written family ethnographic papers, attempts to develop the theoretical framework, pedagogies of migration, centering the learning that takes place in Chicana/o, Latina/o undocumented immigrant households, i.e. educación. Through the layering and intersecting of the frameworks, Latina/o Critical Theory (LatCrit), pedagogies of the home, community cultural wealth and educación, pedagogies of migration may serve as a lens to illuminate and validate the lessons Chicana/o, Latina/o undocumented immigrants learn from crossing physical borders to the United States, and the way these experiences support their children as they encounter the borderlands of U.S. educational institutions. The theory pedagogies of migration centralizes the daily-lived experiences faced by Chicana/o, Latina/o undocumented immigrant students and their households. Centralizing the educación embedded in undocumented immigrant households promotes an assets-based analysis of their experiences and moves us away from deficit-based views of these communities. Moving away from deficit constructs that blame the community’s culture, race, status, and class for school failure encourages one to rethink accepted processes of incorporation of Chicana/o, Latina/o undocumented immigrant students in educational institutions. Pedagogies of migration may help illustrate how the lessons learned from the home directly support the educational attainment of children of undocumented immigrant households.