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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Alternative Education
Program #
Politics, Society

Linda Fregoso
Francisco Hernández
Apr 18, 1980

Alternative Education

Professor Francisco Hernandez discusses the history and development of alternative schools for Chicano communities. Hernandez first describes the various types of alternative schools that exist, from Montessori schools to after-school programs and religious schools. He explains that the idea of alternative education dates back to the Mexican Secession when thousands of Mexicans now found their children educated in schools that taught American history and English literature and prohibited the use of Spanish, so they organized their own schools that taught in Spanish or in both languages. At this time, various Protestant denominations arrived in the Southwest to convert the Catholic Mexicans and they also set up their own schools.

Hernandez then looks at Chicano schools in the twentieth century and explains that sometimes the Mexican government funded these programs and other times, students paid teachers who taught out of their homes. In the later twentieth century, alternative universities, colleges and high schools for drop-outs formed. Hernandez explains that all these schools are united by their emphasis on Mexican culture and the Spanish language. Hernandez also discusses bilingual schools and explains that if they end when the child enters the public school system, then they are not developing or maintaining the children’s knowledge of Spanish or their culture. He says that most Chicano schools follow La Familia concept of education which looks at the teacher/ student relationship as one between parent/ child or older sibling/ younger sibling, and he elaborates on the concept. Hernandez concludes that all education is political and Chicano schools are no different. Such schools hope that the students one day will help the Chicano community.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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