Testimonio Pedagogy on the Borderlands in Teacher Education
New Mexico bears a unique history wherein Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache Peoples have, since time immemorial, been stewards of the land and are its intergenerational inheritors. Since 16th century European conquest, histories of Indigenous and Mexican/Mexican American groups have intersected, merged, diverged, and clashed. But while Indigenous and Nuevomexicana/o communities date back millennia and five centuries respectively here, their land, languages, lifeways, histories, and spiritualities have been silenced, invalidated, and targeted for erasure and their children mentally, spiritually, and physically harmed within public schooling. Building a more hopeful, humane pedagogy in the borderlands means recognizing that higher education pedagogy must not only heal the wounds of U.S. schooling; it also must bring us together across difference and distance to foster shared humanity and create learning spaces that are rich, challenging, and lifegiving. Nationally, over 80% of U.S. pre-service/in-service educators are White and monolingual. While the makeup of our teacher education students is much more diverse, the dominant model of teacher preparation is still steeped in Eurocentric epistemologies. We utilize the arts-based self-study methodology of tapestry poetry to more deeply understand the ways in which one student-centered inquiry centering the Latin American narrative genre Testimonio in teacher preparation unearthed our own difficult narratives of schooling at intersections of race, class, gender, language/dialect, and citizenship and ultimately transformed us. Through Testimonios inquiry, we cultivated space wherein future educators were supported to foster their multiple literacies of resilience, resistance, self-love and their creativity to design curriculum around youth literacies, lives, and community wealth.