It is interesting to consider that the concept of compulsory education together with the idea of "public free" schooling in Texas, the Southwest, and in the U.S., generally, begins with the Spanish during the colonial period. Later, when Texas became a republic, it is noteworthy to consider that it was the Tejanos—and not the Anglos—who advocated for a system of education in the new country. Accordingly,
The irony of all of this is of course the achievement gap and harmful stereotype that Mexican Americans do not value education when the roots for this run deeply in not only a diametrically opposite direction but in one that has had a defining role with respect to the evolution of education in Texas and the U.S., as a whole.
True, our indigenous forbears valued education just as much, but the taking away of their lands and identities undercut tribal governance, including education.
When we speak of the potentially redemptive power of culturally relevant curriculum and Ethnic Studies, these are the kinds of subjugated histories and knowledge that can make a difference for our youth.
Palabra! / In Truth!
|The Spanish brought to the Americas that penchant for learning first established in the Iberian Peninsula. The Universidad Autónoma de México in Mexico City was established in 1551 by a Royal Decree of King Carlos V. (Photo: Tejano Talks)|
It was first known as the Royal Pontífice Universidad de México, and in 1910 became known as the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México or UNAM.
|As the Spanish meandered into what is now Texas, they brought priests who would not only Christianize the Indians but would become the educators of the native tribes of the Lone Star State as well as the children of the Spanish soldiers stationed in missions and presidios throughout the land. From El Paso to San Antonio and La Bahia, education thrived. (Photo: Tejano Talks)|
|Both Navarro and Seguín attempted to donate thousands of their own land for the purpose of establishing the first university. (Photo: Tejano Talks)|