Personal Agency Inspired by Hardship: Bilingual Latinas as Liberatory Educators


  • Amanda Rodriguez Morales Kansas State University
  • M. Gail Shroyer Kansas State University



Latino/a education, critical race theory, teachers of color, paraeducators, recruitment & retention


This qualitative multiple case study focused on eleven non-traditional, bilingual, Latinas within a teacher education program. The study explored various factors that influenced participants’ desire to pursue and ability to persist as pre-service teachers. The overarching theme identified among participant discourse was personal agency inspired by hardship. Findings indicated that, as a result of their cultural and experiential understandings, participants enacted culturally responsive teaching with their Latino/a students. Furthermore, participants demonstrated a strong sense of personal agency to improve the educational outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse students and a desire to advocate specifically on behalf of English learner Latino/a students.

Author Biographies

Amanda Rodriguez Morales, Kansas State University

Dr. Amanda Rodriguez Morales is an Assistant Professor of Foundations and Multicultural Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction as well as the Diversity Coordinator for the College of Education at Kansas State University. She received her Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University in May 2011. Her research foci are, issues of equity and social justice in education, recruitment and retention of Latino/as and first-generation college students, increasing diversity in STEM fields and educational foundations. Her teacher education research and practice builds on her lived experiences as a biracial Latina from Kansas and her prior work in the Center for Intercultural Multilingual Advocacy and as an Assistant Director of Visitor Programs at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas. She is the author of eight peer-reviewed articles and six book chapters. She also won two national awards for her dissertation from the American Education Research Association and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

M. Gail Shroyer, Kansas State University

Dr. M. Gail Shroyer is Professor Emeritus and the previous Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, at Kansas State University. Shroyer has a long history of research and scholarship in the areas of science education, teacher education reform, and Professional Development School partnerships. She was the author and principal investigator on numerous education grant projects funded by the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. She also established and directed the award-winning PDS Partnership in the College of Education for over 20 years.




How to Cite

Morales, A. R., & Shroyer, M. G. (2016). Personal Agency Inspired by Hardship: Bilingual Latinas as Liberatory Educators. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 18(3), 1–21.



Articles (Peer-reviewed)