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Monica Gonzalez


Dr. González Ybarra’s schooling experiences, and those of her family, guided her to research the rich language, literacies, and knowledge of Chicanx/Latinx communities that often go unseen and/or erased in k-12 classrooms and beyond. Specifically, she looks at the powerful practices of teaching and learning that exist in community spaces and how Chicanx/Latinx bilingual youth, in particular, draw on their home, family, and community knowledge to navigate their sociopolitical worlds. Dr. González Ybarra has been privileged to work with young people across various communities in Illinois, Utah, Colorado, and Texas. Her teaching and work with bilingual pre-service and in-service teachers seeks to create opportunities for transformative educational experiences both in and outside of the classroom. She is committed to working with educators, students, and community members to collectively to re-imagine and build educational spaces and opportunities for youth and communities of color.

Dr. González Ybarra is a proud University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumni. She graduated as a double-major in Latina/Latino Studies and Spanish in 2011. She then earned her masters degree from the University of Utah in 2013 and doctorate from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2018. She is a former Cultivating New Voices Fellow through the National Council of Teachers of English and was a recipient of the AERA Minority Dissertation Fellowship.

Key Professional Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Assistant Professor, Latina/Latino Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

González Ybarra, M. (2022). “Because we have lived it”: Chicanx/Latinx Youth Multimodal Literacies in Youth Participatory Action Research. Reading Research Quarterly, 57(3), 983-1002.  link >

Player, G. D., & González Ybarra, M. (2022). Re-Imagining Literacy and Language Education for Girls of Color. Urban Education, 57(10), 1663-1672.  link >

Player, G. D., Ybarra, M. G., Brochin, C., Brown, R. N., Butler, T. T., Cervantes-Soon, C., Gill, V. S., Kinloch, V., Price-Dennis, D., Saavedra, C. M., & Sealey-Ruiz, Y. (2022). “We Are Our Only Way Forward”: Dialogic Re-imaginings and the Cultivation of Homeplace for Girls, Women, and Femmes of Color. Urban Education, 57(10), 1784-1804.  link >

Rodriguez, G., & González Ybarra, M. (2022). ‘This is What I go Through’: Latinx Youth Facultades in Suburban Schools in the Era of Trump. Race Ethnicity and Education, 25(7), 922-938.  link >

González Ybarra, M., & Saavedra, C. M. (2021). Excavating Embodied Literacies Through a Chicana/Latina Feminist Framework. Journal of Literacy Research, 53(1), 100-121.  link >

Gonzales, L., González Ybarra, M., & The Fugitive Literacies Collective (2020). Multimodal Cuentos as Fugitive Literacies on the Mexico-US Borderlands. English Education, 52(3).

Player, G. D., Coles, J. A., Ybarra, M. G., & The Fugitive Literacies Collective (2020). Enacting Educational Fugitivity with Youth of Color: A Statement/Love Letter from the Fugitive Literacies Collective. The High School Journal, 103(3), 140-156.  link >

Ybarra, M. G. (2020). “We Have a Strong Way of Thinking . . . and It Shows through Our Words”: Exploring Mujerista Literacies with Chicana/Latina Youth in a Community Ethnic Studies Course. Research in the Teaching of English, 54(3), 231-253.

Gaxiola Serrano, T. J., González Ybarra, M., & Delgado Bernal, D. (2019). “Defend yourself with words, with the knowledge that you’ve gained”: An exploration of conocimiento among Latina undergraduates in ethnic studies. Journal of Latinos and Education, 18(3), 1-15. Advance online publication.  link >

González Ybarra, M. (2018). “Since when have people been illegal?”: Latinx youth reflections in Nepantla. Latino Studies, 16(4), 503-523.  link >

DeNicolo, C. P., & Gonzalez, M. (2015). Testimoniando en Nepantla: Using Testimonio as a Pedagogical Tool for Exploring Embodied Literacies and Bilingualism. Journal of Language & Literacy Education, 11(1).

DeNicolo, C. P., González, M., Morales, S., & Romaní, L. (2015). Teaching Through Testimonio: Accessing Community Cultural Wealth in School. Journal of Latinos and Education, 14(4), 228-243.  link >


CI 415: Language Varieties, Cultures and Learning (CI 415) For students in the early childhood, elementary and middle grades licensure programs. Introduces students to issues related to first- and second-language development, cultural diversity, and language variation. Addresses the above issues in terms of teaching and learning and serves as a base for subsequent courses that will extend these issues in the content areas.

CI 449: Issues in Latina/o Education (CI 449) Critiques and explores various theoretical frameworks used to explain Latina/Latino academic achievement. Examines curricular and instructional issues by investigating how different school systems have implemented schooling for Latina/Latino students. Develops critical understanding of the role of education within the Latina/Latino community.

CI 536: Curriculum and Instruction Proseminar (CI 536) Provides an introduction to doctoral studies, research, and careers in education. Focus is on development of an identity as a researcher. Topics include a basic orientation to research in education, doctoral program navigation toward a research identity in a chosen field and career path, writing in academic genres, and education research funding. The course is designed for all CI doctoral students. Topics, readings, and assignments may vary. The course is designed for students at the beginning of their doctoral program. However, advanced students may take the course as they progress in their program.

CI 560: Trends & Issues in Language Arts (CI 560) Advanced seminar in literacy for teachers, researchers, and specialists. Focuses on trends and issues in elementary and secondary language arts. Current theories, relevant research and practical applications are considered in relation to reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

CI 580: Qualitative Research in Language and Literacy Education (CI 580) Focuses on the goals and nature of qualitative, observational study of life in educational settings, with an emphasis on oral and written languages. Adopts interpretive and critical perspectives on research and includes key readings on the ethnography of oral and written communication in schools, given a socioculturally and linguistically diverse society. All students will conduct a small scale study in an education site.

CI 587: Multicultural Literature K-12 (CI 587) This course focuses on the meaning, function, and value of multicultural/multiethnic literature in teaching and learning. Through readings, dialogue, and research, students will focus on rewards of teaching and reading multiculturally that make it worth any effort involved. Blending multicultural theory and research, literary study, and educational practice, this course is appropriate for graduate students in education, library science, and English literature and for any other graduate student interested in the role of literature in our culturally diverse society.

EDUC 202: Social Justice, School and Society (EDUC 202) Examines the nature of justice and the dynamics of a pluralistic society to derive a conception of social justice. Working with this conception, it asks how schools function to perpetuate and/or remediate social injustice. The course will consider the history and nature of schooling, issues of access and tracking, and notions of the public and the common. The course is designed for students interested in reflecting on their own educational histories, for those considering careers in teaching, and for all future parents and citizens needing to be able to reflect critically on justice, school, and society.