Preparing and Enriching Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Educators Through Professional Development

Preparing and Enriching Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Educators Through Professional Development

Alina Slapac, Sujin Kim, Sarah A. Coppersmith
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1962-2.ch012
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This chapter examined a cohort of 12 in-service teachers' and three administrators' views in regards to areas of successes, challenges, and priorities in working with immigrant and refugee students and their families as a result of three professional development (PD) sessions that were offered as part of a federal grant-based research project. Qualitative data included field notes through participant observation of group discussions, informal conversations with the participants, PD activity materials, online reflective surveys after each PD session, a background and demographic checklist, and a final questionnaire of overall learning. The results showed the participants' growing sensitivity towards their students' and families' contexts, including academic and social supports, with a desire to promote and implement more linguistically and culturally responsive strategies within their practices and school districts.
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The three PD sessions were designed based on research evidence on the need for in-service teacher training through:1) professional development in diverse educational settings, 2) linguistically and culturally responsive pedagogy, and 3) professional development on the significance of school connection to immigrant families and communities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Immigrant Student: A child in school whose family chooses to relocate in another country.

Inquiry-Based Practices: Instructional design which includes opportunities for individual student questioning, (via inquiries), along with student-to-student inquiries, and teacher-led questioning in classroom activities.

Linguistically Relevant: Teaching practice which directly identifies, models, and incorporates students’ first language in instruction and classroom activities.

Academic Conversations: Classroom discussions which engage and support higher thinking processes and conceptual development in content areas being studied.

Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Teaching practices which value students’ linguistic and cultural identities and are anchored in students’ individual experiences. Using instruction which values and incorporates diverse cultural and linguistic practices and perspectives, aligned with curricula which are connected to, and which integrate, students’ lives, languages, and funds of knowledge.

Refugee Student: Student who has fled their own country and has sought safety and security in another country.

Language Anchor: Instructional tool, such as a chart including vocabulary and an academic word list, to initially engage learners in a lesson.

Differentiated Instruction: Teaching practices which are adapted for diverse, individual learners.

Language-Minority Student: Student whose first language is not the main language used in the classroom.

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