Two articles about teachers defending public education in Mexico have been added to the Research Archive.

Trained to Resist: Teachers Learning Lucha in Oaxaca, Mexico

By Christian Alejandro Bracho, University of La Verne, USA

Drawing on ethnographic data and interviews with 17 teacher educators and normal school students in Oaxaca, Mexico, this article examines a particular teaching formation rooted in the concept of lucha, revolutionary struggle. Participants described how, during their four years at a normal school, they learn, rehearse, and internalize a historical set of revolutionary scripts and strategies, as part of a political role they will perform as teachers. The post-1968 generation of teachers in this study recalled learning to fight in the 1970s and 80s, in an era of great opposition to the Mexican government and national union, while the younger generation described learning how to advocate for themselves so that they can create change in their communities. The study demonstrates how teacher training can explicitly cultivate new teachers’ capacities to operate as political actors, in opposition to standardized and apolitical professional models.

The Trinational Coalition in Defense of Public Education and the Challenges of International Teacher Solidarity

By Paul Bocking, School of Labour Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

The ascendance of economic globalization, epitomized for the United States, Canada and Mexico by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has been paralleled by the increasingly transnational scale of education policy. While national and regional governments remain the employers of public school teachers, the policies articulated by supranational institutions including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are ever more influential. Teacher internationalism has become increasingly significant for its capacity to both articulate shared analyses of the predominantly neoliberal character of global education policy, and to coordinate cross border solidarity. The Trinational Coalition in Defense of Public Education emerged in the context of the end of Cold War labor politics, and the signing of NAFTA in 1994. It has become an enduring network of established and dissident teachers’ unions and movements in Mexico, Canada and the US. This article assesses how the Trinational has confronted critical issues for labor internationalism. These include navigating national and international union tensions, facilitating grassroots cross border radical unionist networks,ho rizontal power relations in North-South alliances, moving beyond rhetorical declarations to practical action, and the long term sustainability of international solidarity.

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