Freyca Calderon-Berumen is an Assistant Professor in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and Women's Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State Altoona. Her research interests are centered around linguistic diversity and multiculturalism in education through the lens of critical-dialogical pedagogies aiming to address social equity and justice. Her work privileges qualitative methods, particularly interested in testimonio, exploring possibilities for community building for marginalized and under-theorized groups. Her work seeks to contribute to the teacher education field by linking theoretical perspectives with everyday experiences and developing culturally relevant understandings.
Research InterestsTestimonio, Epistemologies of the South, Decolonizing epistemologies and pedagogies, Educational Equity
Calderon-Berumen, F., & O'Donald, K. (2017). A living curriculum of orgullo. Journal of curriculum theorizing, 31(3).
Jewett, L., Calderon-Berumen, F., and Espinosa-Dulanto, M. (Eds.) (2018). Critical intersections in contemporary curriculum and pedagogy. Charlottesville, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Calderon Berumen, F. (2019). Resisting assimilation to the melting pot: Validating the cultural curriculum of the home. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 2(1), 81-95.
The melting pot metaphor suggest that people from different backgrounds come to the United States and through the process of assimilation adapt to a new lifestyle integrating smoothly into the dominant culture. This article argues that immigrants from diverse cultural and ethnic groups that try to keep some of their cultural traditions may encounter conflict when trying to adapt to their life in the new context. The author contends for a cultural curriculum of the home endorsing family cultural values and traditions that is overlooked by schools and educators, disregarding its potential for enhancing children’s learning process and academic achievement.
Calderon-Berumen, F., & O'Donald, K. (2019). Promoting Curriculum of Orgullo: Latinx’s Children’s Books and Testimonio. Association of Mexican American Educators Journal, 13(1), 124-141.
As educators that are committed to democratic liberatory education for all, we are called to create spaces and places where we can cultivate and curate experiences that can provide avenues for students to develop self-awareness and agency. These dialogical spaces and places will problematize and question students’ knowledge and understanding leading them to articulate perspectives inhibited by hidden curriculum that hinders them from developing and actualizing a sense of self and purpose. This essay provides an example of decolonizing curriculum through children’s literature to support students in exploring, analyzing, and creating testimonies as a way to problematize their understandings and experiences with marginalized communities. Testimonio, embodied in the aesthetics of children’s literature, provides a pivotal pedagogical tool that allows students to critically reflect on systematic oppression, social inequalities, and hegemonic practices. Framed within a curriculum of orgullo (Calderon-Berumen & O’Donald, 2017), the testimonies embedded in children’s literature scaffolds the process of reading, producing, and analyzing students’ personal narratives.
This article presents the experiences of Latina immigrant women who have raised or are raising children in the United States. As part of a minoritized group, Latina immigrant women have personal lived experiences that inform and affect the ways they interact with the world on a daily basis and that have shaped their personal and cultural identities in multiple ways. Those personal experiences are introduced in a testimonio, a personal narrative that portrays a collective story. Due to their experiences in becoming immigrants, these women have also developed particular ways of knowing, being, and doing that inform and guide their ways of mothering. The main implications of this testimonio call for educators’ attention -at all levels- to find alternate ways of validating social and cultural ways of being and doing that unfolds outside educational institutions, especially from minoritized groups, which cultural practices may differ from those of the dominant culture.
I/We are immigrants in the United States, passionately engaged in a decolonizing project, working with testimonios encargados. I/We respectfully chose to share them as POC epistemologies to correct its omission in most history and presence of millions of residents of this land. Based on this sharing, we also subvert the Western “I” for a community shared, social “I/We” and advance the poetics aesthetics of testimonios.
This chapter contextualizes and historicizes a teacher education program in which the authors are part of its faculty. Situated in a rural, conservative, mid-Atlantic community, our teacher education program serves a rather conventional population with specific characteristics. In spite of our community, our efforts have been focused on providing diverse perspectives, questioning established norms and patterns, and modeling decolonizing pedagogies that recognize and value differences and “others.” We depict our teaching practices and approaches to challenging and disrupting traditional perspectives to education through telling and interpreting vignettes about our experiences in this program, especially in relation to the work of de-westernizing schools and society’s practices.
This special issue is a collective effort toward blurring the boundaries of curriculum theory. Here, we are bringing the Global South—una “Mirada al Sur”—to the spotlight. This issue is informed by epistemologies born in social and political struggles (De Sousa Santos & Meneses, 2020). The “Mirada al Sur” highlights the “subaltern” condition, “voiceless” marginalized, minoritized populations, as well as its instrumentality in retrieving, reconstructing, and recovering untold history/ies (Barrios de Chungara & Vizzer, 1978; Menchu, 1984/2010). Humbled by the power of the genre, we hope to continue the decolonizing Chicanx efforts (Anzaldúa & Moraga, 1983) of weaving/breaking normative narratives, embracing/disturbing discursive forms and featuring multiple aesthetic dimensions of testimonio.
Latina immigrant women raising children who are attending or have attended schools in the United States are dealing with particular challenges of becoming bilingual and bicultural in a mainstream society. Their own personal experiences inform and shape their mothering practices and ways of educating. This article describes how the mothering practices of these women are part of their home pedagogies. In enacting these pedagogies, Latina mothers are the creators of a cultural curriculum of the home that entails ways of knowing, being, and doing that are not necessarily aligned with those that the dominant culture validates. These differing ways of being are essential for the development of the (bi)cultural identity of their children. Using diverse theoretical frameworks to theorize and analyze these narratives, I braid them together in the configuration of mestizaje epistemologies.