Date of Award

Summer 6-2016

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder

Second Advisor

Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales

Third Advisor

Edmundo Litton


Darder (2012), in Culture and Power in the Classroom, argued that a system of educational inequality is promoted through the consistent production and reproduction of contradictions between the dominant culture and subordinate culture. More significantly, she noted that these dominant and subordinate culture contradictions create a necessity for bicultural individuals to navigate the dialectical tensions between dominant and subordinate cultures and the processes by which education perpetuates dynamics of unequal power and reproduces the dominant worldview. Hence, she urged educators to challenge prevalent power structures and re-imagine the process of schooling as a more inclusive form of pedagogy, geared towards establishing and sustaining cultural democracy in the classroom.

This study responded to the call to work with a Pilipino/a student organization in creating an inclusive space in the schooling experience. The learning process for many Pilipino/a students has historically been steeped in a colonialist mentality and directed toward assimilating these students into the practices of mainstream culture in order to survive. This qualitative research intended to address the unjust issues rooted in the dominant structure of schooling and the persistence of a form of colonizing education that fails to incorporate Pilipino/a sociohistorical knowledge and practices of knowing. More specifically, it addresses issues and tensions related to the process of biculturalism, which Pilipino/a students are required to manage in order to utilize their voice and lived experiences as a basis for action. The methodology of this study was influenced by Pagtatanung-tanong—a Pilipino/a equivalent to participatory action research. In utilizing this approach, the study was formulated through the voices of Pilipino/a students at a community college engaged in community building actions toward cultural affirmation.