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Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy




The demographics of Oregon’s teacher workforce do not reflect the student population. The most noticeable gap exists between Latin@ students and Latin@ teachers. The purpose of this testimonio study was to explore perceptions of the underrepresentation of Latina teachers in Oregon K–12 rural schools situated in new Latin@ diaspora communities. The researcher wished to ensure that sociohistorical and sociopolitical events as well as the lived experiences help to inform the understanding of the underrepresentation of Latin@ teachers in Oregon. A purposefully selected participant sample comprised nine Latina educators who worked in primarily rural Oregon schools. The primary data collection method was testimonio interviews, a method that collects spoken accounts of oppression and resistance; document review, researchers journaling, and a participant demographic data survey were also used. Critical Race Theory, Latina Critical Race Theory, and Community Cultural Wealth frameworks were used as analytical lenses. The analysis and interpretation of finding were organized using three analytic categories (a) educational inequities, (b) personal wounding, (c) personal healing. This research revealed that educational inequities and personal wounding were structural and systematic forces that negatively impacted Latina teachers at all phases of the teacher trajectory. Counternarratives highlight Latina teachers’ resistance and resilience as fueling their motivations to teach and their persistence. The data disrupt dominant discourses and ideologies that perpetuate the insufficient diversity in the teacher workforce, and blame Latin@’s for their own disparity in representation. Recommendations include an action plan for university–school–community partnerships to improve the number of Latin@ teachers in the teacher workforce, educational policy leaders, and for the field of adult learning.



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