Sunday, September 01, 2019

Academia Cuauhtli Enters its Sixth Year! Links to Publications and Resources

I am happy to share that we in Academia Cuauhtli (Nahuatl for "Eagle Academy") 

are entering our 6th year of operation.  We are not a charter school; we are a
partnership, involving the Austin Independent School District, the City of 
Austin's Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center, and our
community-based organization named Nuestro Grupo.  We serve fourth-grade
children from Sanchez, Metz, Zavala, Houston, and Perez Elementary 
Schools located in East Austin.

To the best of our knowledge, we are the only Ethnic Studies program at the elementary grade level in the state of Texas and one of only a few nationwide.  The number gets smaller when taking into account that we also offer a TEKS-aligned curriculum in Spanish.  Our curriculum is further place-based, social justice oriented, community-centered, and parent-engaged.  We offer four teaching units this school year as follows:

  1. Raíces (Roots)
  2. Curanderismo y Medioambiente (Folk Medicine and Healing and the Environment)
  3. Defenderse contra la Discriminación (Defending Yourself Against Discrimination)
  4. Danza Mexica (Aztec dance or ceremony)

Check out our publications, media mentions, and other important links.


·    Valenzuela, A. (2019). The struggle to de-colonize official knowledge in Texas' state curriculum: Side-stepping the colonial matrix of power, Equity & Excellence in Education.

 Zamora, E. & Valenzuela, A. (2019). Ethnic Studies and community-engaged scholarship in Texas: The Weaving of a Broader We, in M. Zavala, T. Cuauhtin, C. Sleeter E, & W. Au. Rethinking Ethnic Studies. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools Ltd.

·     Valenzuela, A. (2019). Insurrection and the decolonial imaginary at Academia Cuauhtli: The liberating potential of third-space pedagogies in a third space. In Berry, T., Rodriguez, M., & Kalinek-Craig, C. A. (Eds.), Latinx curriculum theorizing (pp. 3-12). Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.

Valenzuela, A. (2018). Grow Your Own Educator Programs—Special Edition: A Roadmapto a Community-Based, Partnership Approach.

Valenzuela, A. (2017). Grow your own educator programs: A review of the literature with an  emphasis on equity-based approaches.  Intercultural Development Research Associates-Equity Assistance Center, U.S. Region II.

·     Valenzuela, A. (2017). Academia Cuauhtli: (Re)locatingthe spiritual, if crooked, path to social justice (2017). International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Issue 10.

·     Valenzuela, A., Cabrera, N. & Pitti, S. (2017). The numbers won’t speak for themselves, Inside HigherEducation. 

·     Academia Cuauhtli is noted as a culturally relevant model in the recently published book edited by Angela Valenzuela titled, Growing Critically Conscious Teachers: A Social Justice Curriculum for Educators of Latino/a/a Youth (NY: Teachers College Press, 2016).

·      Valenzuela, A., Zamora, E., & Rubio, B. (2015). “Academia Cuauhtli and the Eagle: Danza Mexica and the Epistemology of the Circle.” Voices in Urban Education, 41, 46-56.

·      Valenzuela, A. & Riojas, C. (2013). No time to waste: We must advocate for books for our    children,” Somos en Escrito.


·     Ethnic Studies Symposium at UT-Austin on March 7, 2018:

Santos, A. (January/February 2018).  Dr. Angela Valenzuela and growing your own educatorsLa Voz, 13(1 & 2).

 2018 HornRaiser Campaign Video:
      Ferlazzo, L. (March 27, 2017). Author Interview: Growing Critically Conscious TeachersQ & A with Larry Ferlazzo, Education Week.

 National Education Association. (2017, April 4). Bold, new program delivers love and   affirmation for Austin’s Latinx Students, Education Votes,

 Academia Cuauhtli enseñara historia Tejana a Niños. (2016). Austin American-    Statesman:

      KLRU/PBS Story: Academia Cuauhtli Works to Bridge History with Language (2015).
      Barragán, J. (2015). New Hispanic Enrichment Program to Teach Students About their RootsAustin American-Statesman.

Important Links

·      Academia Cuauhtli Facebook page:

·      Austin Independent School District:

·      Tejano History Curriculum Project      

  Press Conference Video, Posted March 4: 

·     Academia Cuauhtli 2015 Graduation     Ceremony:

These are the wonderful kinds of things that we can accomplish in partnership with teachers, schools, universities, and communities.  As students and scholars, places like these can and should also be our research sites.  

We need programs like these everywhere.


Angela Valenzuela, Convener
Academia Cuauhtli

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