GS 554 — Classrooms in Motion: Multiculturalism

It was our privilege to have Dr. Juan Gonzalez visit our institute for two days to provide his insight, personal experiences, and research into culture and ethnicity as it relates to childhood, coming of age, and pedagogy. Here are a few of the subjects we’ve touched on in class discussion with links courtesy of Dr. Gonzalez:

The use of language to generalize or group individuals based on cultural or ethnic background:

Latino or Hispano?

Cultural stereotypes regarding language and appearance as they relate to identity and community:

My Name is Carlos, Eric from the HBO Series Habla Texas

Assumptions about individuals, family, and history:

Carmen from the HBO Series Habla Texas, David from the HBO Series Habla Texas

We also read and discussed Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima:

A Conversation with Rudolfo Anaya by Lawrence Bridges

Additionally, we viewed and discussed the 2006 film Quinceanera:


Post a reply in relation to the following themes and questions that have arisen in our class discussion.


  • The complexity of relationships between all of the regions and groups clumped together by skin color and labels.
  • The enduring trauma of colonialism.
  • The tendency to build relationships and identities through exclusion of “the other.”
  • Self-denial, guilt, and cultural distance in children of immigrants.


  • Does your pedagogy honor the complexity and diversity of the human experience?
  • To what extent is an individual’s identity rooted in tradition?
  • How can you cultivate an awareness of cultural patterns to better meet the needs of individuals who have been touched by specific cultural traditions without compartmentalizing and labeling?
  • What cultural patterns identified by Dr. Gonzalez have you encountered in your teaching?