“As Xican@s educators who often teach history that has been omitted from public textbooks, not surprisingly, students often respond to the omitted history in a negative, angered manner. As educators, we can ill afford and indeed would be negligent to leave our students in this negative “angered” consciousness,” Building Community Through An Indigenous And Freirean Consciousness, MAS lesson plan for K-12.
The MAS staff admits that the resentment created is a “destructive and dehumanizing mentality” and it is “imperative that students be provided a way of knowing that counteracts” it. “The Mexica (defined as any person who lives under the sun) left us this beautiful gift so as to begin what the great libratory educational theorist Paulo Freire states as the “re-birth” process of re-becoming human once again, in this dystopian world.”
Superintendent Huppenthal found TUSD’s Mexican American Studies cases to be in violation of an Arizona law which specifically prohibits classes that promote resentment toward a race or class of people, and are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
TUSD’s Mexican American Studies staff essentially admits to building the resentment, but they excuse this by claiming that “rebirth” is the antidote. They would most likely assert that they are simply helping the students to see the ways the society has dehumanized them and the knowledge of what was done to them may breed bad feelings.
The problems arise because what they are doing goes far beyond a simple presentation of facts. The problems, their pedagogical approach produces, are different at different age levels. Young children don’t have the ability, at their developmental level, to tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes from their teachers. They can’t understand that their teachers are presenting them with opinions being presented as fact; nor do they have enough background information to provide context to all of this. For example, if the US is so dehumanizing why do some risk their lives to come to this country?
For older students, the problems are different and the indoctrination has to be done more subtly…and that is where the one-on-one work required by critical race pedagogy and practiced by their teachers is used to break down individual student identities so they can be replaced by this group consciousness. The ritualized vows they take before or after class, the use of terms of endearment such as Mijo/mija rather the student’s given name, all can be part of an indoctrination program (similar to those used by the cults or mass movement efforts Dr. Stegeman referenced in his testimony in the appeal by the district.
Also, the development of the “cult of personality” has frequently been noted by those who have reviewed the materials and tactics used by MAS proponents. That “cult of personality” is very evident in this lesson plan’s materials.
While the MAS staff claims that the classes are not designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, the materials do not reflect a broader focus or wider audience. The MAS materials continually refer to the students’ genetic memory as indigenous people. It is unclear to what indigenous groups the students belong, and the theory of genetic memory is Jung’s who is widely considered to have been an anti-Semite and racist.
“This unit will set a tone for the academic year with an indigenous pedagogy rooted in a Mexica (Aztec) humanizing way of knowing, and in critical pedagogy, centered on Freire’s three levels of consciousness. The energy put forth, via the lessons within this unit, serves to cultivate a critical consciousness and promote interdependence through an understanding of the Nahui Ollin a system that places us on a path towards bringing balance and harmony in our lives,” Building Community Through An Indigenous And Freirean Consciousness, MAS lesson plan for K-12.