Binational Symposium

Mexican art

The University of California-Mexico Working Group on Education is hosting the first annual Binational Symposium on the Education of Indigenous Mexican Students, April 22&ndahs;April 23, 2016, in Oaxaca, Mexico at the Centro Cultural San Pablo.

The Centro Cultural San Pedro

The working group, which is chaired by Professor Patricia Gándara, and the symposium, organized by Drs. de la Torre, Kryzatis, and Zentella, are part of a systemwide initiative spearheaded by University of California President Janet Napolitano, designed to strengthen a liaison between the University of California system and Mexico. 

The symposium represents a collaborative effort between scholars, educators, officials, and activists in Mexico and California who will share their experiences with, knowledge of, and insights into, educational issues related to indigenous Mexican students, both in California and Mexico. The symposium aims to cultivate binational educational partnerships to effectively support and serve Mexican indigenous students by offering a platform to critically examine issues, share solutions, and identify collaborative interventions. It is our goal to develop a concrete plan to address the research needs related to the education of Mexican indigenous students.

Conference workshops will focus on the following major topics:

  • The variety of and distinct levels of student proficiency in Mexican indigenous languages and the consequences for children that do not speak them, and the extent to which indigenous languages are incorporated in educational programs appropriate for each level of PreK-12 students, including bilingual and trilingual approaches. 
  • The specific issues, problems, resources, etc., relevant to the education of indigenous Mexican students in Mexico, and the nature and extent of  programs specifically designed for those in Mexican schools who have never left the country, as well as for those who have lived/studied in the United States and returned.  
  • The specific issues, problems, resources, etc., relevant to the education of indigenous Mexican students in California, and the nature and extent of programs specifically designed for distinct indigenous groups of students.
  • The extent and type of educational programs that reach out to indigenous communities in California and Mexico, including those that provide parents with an understanding of the early language and literacy development and socialization of their children.

We expect reports from workshops to result in a useful publication that includes papers on the four major topics outlined above and documentation of research needs identified by working groups.