In this article, Lilia Bartolomé argues that the current focus on finding the right "methods" to improve the academic achievement of students who have historically been oppressed hides the less visible but more important reasons for their performance: the asymmetrical power relations of society that are reproduced in the schools, and the deficit view of minority students that school personnel uncritically, and often unknowingly, hold. Bartolomé argues instead for a humanizing pedagogy that respects and uses the reality, history, and perspectives of students as an integral part of educational practice. Discussing two approaches in particular that show promise when implemented within a humanizing pedagogical framework-- culturally responsive education and strategic teaching -- Bartolomé emphasizes the need for teachers' evolving political awareness of their relationship with students as knowers and active participants in their own learning.
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