Cinco Dedos: A Mexican American Studies Framework

  • Nicolas García John Marshall High School
  • Anthony Gonzales John Marshall High School
Keywords: Ethnic Studies, Mexican American Studies, MAS Pedagogy, Cinco Dedos, MAS Framework


Mexican American Studies (MAS) courses have been criticized for many years. Legislation in Arizona and Texas have attempted to ban the content. This article pushes back on this attempt of oppression and offers MAS teachers a framework to apply when teaching the content. Using a timeline to depict the years of attempts for Mexican American Studies to be approved, we offer practitioners and researchers an Ethnic Studies framework particularly with MAS courses. Using cultural art, poetry, and literature, MAS teachers can benefit from using the Cinco Dedos framework especially at the secondary (6-12) grade levels. This framework prepares MAS teachers to utilize various Chicanx histories to tell the stories of Mexican American heroes not talked about in traditional American history courses. This article also provides tools to use in secondary MAS classrooms that highlight Mexican American culture for students provided by a MAS teacher. One of the founders of the framework uses this in his MAS course at a high school located in San Antonio, TX.