Mexican American Studies Faculty Publications and Presentations

Mexican Americans and the push for culturally relevant education: the bilingual education movement in Tucson, 1958–1969

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This essay traces the bilingual education movement that began in Tucson through the efforts of local teachers, university faculty and educational leaders. It is argued that Mexican Americans and their allies played a crucial role in promoting the merits of bilingual education at the local, state and national levels. Their advocacy of Spanish-for-Spanish-speakers programmes as a culturally relevant means of improving educational outcomes for Mexican American students led to a push for bilingual education with the support of the National Education Association. The work that educators from Tucson accomplished focused national attention on the education of Mexican Americans and ultimately contributed to the passage of the Bilingual Education Act of 1968. This legislation sparked a national movement to expand bilingual education programmes throughout the Southwest and other parts of the nation.


© 2015 Taylor & Francis

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History of Education