Transforming the Education of Immigrant Youth: Program Implementation and Instructional Planning

Transforming the Education of Immigrant Youth: Program Implementation and Instructional Planning

Sandra Duval (KonekPlus, USA) and Anne Marie Foerster Luu (McDaniel College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3448-9.ch005

Abstract

Educational programs for immigrant students must be guided by multidisciplinary research that centralizes the voices of the “other.” The authors re-conceptualizes what is meant by integration and meaningful inclusion in order to address opportunity gaps experienced by many immigrant students. The data gathered through quantitative, qualitative, and auto-ethnographic research resulted in the Roots and Wings Transformative Model. This model can be adapted by schools to implement a transcultural and transformative program for immigrant students built on equity and teaching towards freedom in varied contexts across the globe. Included are concrete examples of ways to implement this model in the classroom and a collaborative needs-assessment tool. Students' ways of knowing and their communities' contributions become the pillars upon which learning the standards and educational experiences are built. A brief standards-based lesson plan for content and concept mastery and English language development is also presented.
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Introduction

Transcultural education for children of immigrants must be met with urgency at a global level. Based on the most current reports, about 258 million people have migrated around the world - an increase of 49% in just under two decades (United Nations, 2017). Whether they were forced to move or moved voluntarily, the significant impact on them, their native country and the receiving country cannot be ignored. This chapter invites educational program administrators, specialists, and practitioners to move beyond the contentious debates around immigration to stress the importance of educational research that places the voices of “the other” at the core of its inquiries. Using this paradigm, this chapter shares how multidisciplinary quantitative and qualitative research methodologies that honor the counterstories of “the other” can uncover practices that promote transformative educational outcomes for immigrant students. Consequently, this mindset requires researchers to re-conceptualize what is meant by integration and meaningful inclusion no matter the diversity of a school to address opportunity gaps that many culturally and linguistically diverse students experience. The urgency of cultivating this mindset is supported by our understanding of neuroscience and learning (Willis, J. and McTighe, J., 2019; Z. Hammond, 2015). Taking all of these factors into account, the current analysis presents the Roots and Wings Transformative Model (Duval, 2018), a practical tool for educational programs and educators. The Roots and Wings Transformative Model is constructed as a case study from an autoethnographic approach using both quantitative and qualitative data. This model can be adapted to support schools in implementing transcultural programs for immigrant students that get at the core of equity to prepare them to become global citizens through educational achievement. Promoting culturally relevant practices at the student, teacher and school environment levels advance the promise of this model.

The chapter also presents concrete examples that guide the implementation of the model in school settings. More specifically, how student-centered assessments can inform curricular supports based on the realities of students’ lives. Thus students’ ways of knowing and their communities’ contributions become the pillars upon which learning the standards and educational experiences are built. While doing this, educators can identify authentic topics, linguistic and dialogic pedagogical opportunities, as well as various ways of demonstrating mastery of the objectives (L. Dodson, A.Foerster Luu, 2018). By linking this type of research and practice, educators can further broaden their critically reflective lens on the education of immigrant students. As influenced by critical pedagogy, it thus becomes evident that implementing transcultural education models teaches towards freedom and transformative education for audiences within varied contexts across the globe.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Rigor: The term for academically challenging concepts, content, and performance expectations.

Transcultural: Cultural experiences that defy simple definitions and expressions in language and norms.

Transformative: A description of learning through which learners create new meaning and new ways of understanding the world.

Translanguaging: The natural tendency of multilingual people to use language forms that suit the purpose of the task or communicative need.

Critical Pedagogy: A teaching philosophy that encourages students to question paradigms of oppression and marginalization.

Critical Race Theory: A theory for understanding the socially constructed concept of race and its relationship to power and oppression.

Mindset: A way of thinking that influences behavior.

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