Asset-based pedagogy (ABP) reflects teacher instructional choices that affirm students’ ethnicity and culture in the classroom and curriculum. The current study examines two key enactments of ABPs for Latino children, namely cultural content integration and heritage language (Spanish). Utilizing an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, we assess mediation and moderation effects between teacher beliefs (n = 33), their ABPs, and the mathematics achievement of 568 Latino children in grades three through five. Next, we use qualitative interviews to probe teachers’ understanding and value of cultural content integration, heritage language, and how these work together in their own instructional practice. The quantitative results reveal that honoring students’ heritage language (Spanish) is the mediating element through which cultural content integration predicts mathematics achievement for Latino children. Further, the moderated mediation analysis, cross-validated by the teacher interviews, showed evidence that high teacher expectations alone may not be enough to predict teacher enactment of ABPs. Instead, critical awareness along with high expectations work together to predict enactment of culturally responsive teaching and growth in Latino students’ learning. Implications and limitations are discussed.
Despite increasing racial and cultural diversity in the United States and many other industrialized countries, less than 2% of research published in top-tier educational psychology journals authentically examines the experiences of racial and cultural minorities. Through this special issue, we not only aim to increase representation of these populations in our research, but we also strive to promote greater integrity in how racial and cultural constructs are managed in the theories, methods, analyses, and interpretations of educational psychology research. In this introduction article, we define and discuss race-reimaging in educational psychology. Further, we briefly review the historical and contemporary issues in conventional psychological research that necessitate race-reimaging and underscore its appeal. Subsequently, we introduce each article in the special issue and speak to how its respective race-reimaging qualities inform as well as extend traditional educational psychology constructs. Finally, we point to special guest commentary by Paul Schutz and conclude with implications for race-reimaged research broadly.