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Toward a Filipino/a Critical (FilCrit) Pedagogy: A Study of United States Educational Exposure Programs to the Philippines


Through a qualitative study fusing participatory action methods with a focus group, testimonio, individual interviews, and cultural analysis, this project examines U.S. educational exposure programs to the Philippines. Organized and united by a social movement that traverses a Philippine diaspora, exposure programs enable participants to visit the Philippines for a short-term immersion where they are hosted by sectors of interest. This study explores the pedagogy that exposure programs enable as participants learn about the everyday realities challenging a Philippine polity and how systems of knowledge are being reframed and transformed. Placing Filipino/a American transnational activism at the center of analysis contributes to the field as this particular community group is sparsely examined in critical educational discourses. Of interest is how their praxis in exposure programs to the Philippines offers insight to critical theories, research methodologies, and educative social practices that seek the transformation of oppressive global relations of class, race, and gender.

The manuscript is divided into two sections: 1) Research Process and 2) Research Findings. Research Process consists of: an introduction; a description of the theoretical frameworks (critical pedagogy, feminist standpoint theory, critical theories of race, and Filipina critical theory) that the study builds upon in examination of Filipino/a American transnational praxis; an overview of the qualitative tools utilized to document experiences of research participants; and a historical genealogy exploring the social conditions that have cultivated historical forms of Filipino/a American counter-consciousness.

The Research Findings section is divided into four chapters. Beginning with Chapter Five, which utilizes the testimonio of an exposure participant as a point of departure to conceptualize how such programs cultivate what I term a "diasporic counter-consciousness." Nascent in a new generation of Filipino/a Americans, a "diasporic counter-consciousness" links Filipino/a American identity as contingent upon: 1) the fate of a population dispersed throughout the globe and; 2) the eradication of neocolonial conditions in the Philippines. Chapter Six explores the transnational praxis of participants and its implications for the theorizing of race (drawing explicitly from the cultural media created in a hip hop exposure and in generative conversation with the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois). Chapter Seven demonstrates how the interaction of feminist standpoint theory with the experiences of Filipina American exposure participants can point to a "Filipina diasporic standpoint." Such a standpoint provides a uniting positionality where the labor, land, and lives of Filipina women across the diaspora are not alienated from them but rather channeled in the service of their own needs and the potentials of a greater humanity. Chapter Eight is a coda to the research project, summarizing the central themes outlined for Filipino/a Critical Pedagogy.

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