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panel

AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

Children as transborder thinkers: Im/migration and schooling beyond the mononational gaze

keywords:

schooling

transnationalism

children and youth

Although movement between the United States and Latin American countries is often perceived to move unidirectionally from south to north, transborder ethnographies of education and im/migration offer nuanced insights on the common---yet unrecognized---multidirectionality and multiplicity of how families navigate the intersections of im/migration and education policies across textured landscapes. As members of a Latinx diaspora with multiple physical and relational ties across nation states as well as uneven access to legal structures that contribute to differences in how they navigate the place and space of their lives and learning (Dyrness and Sepúlveda 2020), family members differ in how they live or perceive transborder experiences, or their experiences crossing physical and metaphorical boundaries across nations, institutions, and languages (Trinidad Galván 2014). In this roundtable we explore children as transborder thinkers/knowers who draw upon their own truths and experiences of multiplicity from living, learning, and working within and across varying national systems in ways that embody an in-betweeness of both countries, that pushes against rigid mononational expectations, often in search for a new hybrid possibility (Anzaldúa 1987; Dyrness and Sepúlveda 2000; Mignolo 2000). We discuss the possibilities and limitations of how these experiences can lay the groundwork for pedagogical possibilities that make visible relationships of power and inequity and critically expand whose knowledges are positioned as valuable (Anzaldúa 1987; Cervantes-Soon and Carrillo 2016; Giroux 1988). Our live virtual roundtable is designed to foster an open dialogue. After a brief welcome (5 minutes) each panelist will contextualize their scholarship as it relates to the theme of children as transborder thinkers/knowers at the intersections of im/migration and education policies (5 minutes per panelist). Panelist 1 will reflect on Central American families’ experiences with and strategies for accessing schools during migratory journeys in Mexico, with added challenges during COVID. Panelist 2’s scholarship is situated in Mexican public schools and explores how U.S. documentation status and transborder experiences shape children’s educational trajectories within contexts of forced repatriation. Panelist 3 explores how transnational youths’ in-betweenness of knowing and being, specifically Anzaldúa’s sense of Nepantla, both proscribes and creates possibilities of achievement upon return to Mexico (with frequent senses of wondering about returning yet again to the U.S.). Panelist 4’s research focuses on the aftermath and consequences of separation and detention at the border for immigrant children’s educational experiences in public schools in the United States. The final panelists’ scholarship looks at transborder students’ classroom-based experiences when they move to their parents’ home country of Mexico. The moderator will then facilitate a 45 minute dialogue among panelists with questions such as: What can we learn by centering young people as transborder thinkers? What are the possibilities or limitations of creating spaces for these knowledges within schooling? How have shifting im/migration policies shaped children’s transborder experiences? The discussant, a leading scholar in this field, will then offer reflective comments on the dialogue (10 minutes) before opening up the roundtable to a discussion among audience members and panelists (20 minutes).

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