Educating the multicultural adult Latino community in New York City: An augmentative pedagogy

Jorge Diez, Fordham University


The Hispanic presence in the United States has prompted the US Catholic Church to view the Church in a new way. The great variety of Latinos with different histories, diasporas, and traditions has impelled the church to search for renewed avenues that better minister to this strongly emerging minority. With more than 40 million Latinos residing in the United States, and more than 2 million of them living in New York City, the Catholic Church is attempting to address this issue not as a pastoral problem, but as an opportunity of mutual enrichment. It has been confirmed that Hispanics are not assimilating to the mainstream US culture, which has provoked the church to search for more appropriate means to religiously educate this diverse community. In this regard, this dissertation is an attempt to fashion a religious education that is more attentive to the needs of Latinos. The study proposes that through an augmentative pedagogy, Latinos will be better prepared to serve their local communities and the church in general. An augmentative pedagogy is depicted as the integration of several educational theories. It unifies theory and practice in praxis and celebration. For the purpose of this study, an augmentative pedagogy brings together theories of adult religious education, multicultural religious education, and theories of inculturation. In this approach, the personal growth of the individual is nurtured, the building of community is fostered, and the binding of diversity is promoted. An adult, multicultural, and inculturated religious education offers a wide range of opportunities to better understand and integrate Latinos without extinguishing intrinsic aspects of their multifarious cultures. An adult religious education that is attentive to the multicultural environment in which it takes place, brings forth the encounter between Gospel and culture, the personal and communal experiences, and unifies the church while searching for a common balance. This study provides essential information for the fashioning of teaching styles that are relevant to Latinos. This dissertation complements current theory and practice of religious education. It seeks a center of unity amidst diversity and plurality. It specifically utilizes an interdisciplinary conceptual framework that includes, multicultural and adult educational theory, Latino history, a textual and documentary analysis, and the review of current literature in the field of religious education. An augmentative pedagogy searches for equilibrium and avoids ethnocentrism.

Subject Area

Religion|Adult education|Continuing education|Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Diez, Jorge, "Educating the multicultural adult Latino community in New York City: An augmentative pedagogy" (2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3170694.