Struggling for Educational Autonomy: The Significance of Schooling in New Mexico's Transition to Statehood
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This thesis examines the significance of schooling in New Mexico’s transition from territory to state during the first two decades of the 20th century. I argue that education in New Mexico was substantially affected by state-level debates over what it meant to become part of the union. Schools became the battleground for questions over whether or not people in New Mexico could be absorbed into the American cultural model, a question that was tied to race, language, and citizenship. This manifested as a struggle between Anglos and Nuevomexicanos for control of the schools, and between curricular agendas of cultural preservation or Americanization. Using three case studies, I demonstrate the various ways schools were tied up in the statehood transition, both before and after entering the union. This investigation contributes to a broader understanding of education nationally by addressing the unique characteristics of the Southwest context, including its political history, extended territorial status, rural geography, and the influence of Nuevomexicano leadership.
- Education - Seattle