Presentation on theme: "Bridging Barriers with Migrant Youth A Presentation of Engaged Scholarship Focused on Educational Equity Dr. Maria Timmons Flores TESOL / Bilingual Education."— Presentation transcript:
Bridging Barriers with Migrant Youth A Presentation of Engaged Scholarship Focused on Educational Equity Dr. Maria Timmons Flores TESOL / Bilingual Education – Woodring College
Bridging Barriers with Migrant Youth Migrant youth face many barriers in their pursuit of a quality education. They come from families who are poor and are often socially marginalized due to language, culture, mobility and immigration status. The Bilingual Pathways Initiative began with the Participatory Action Research question: What are the barriers to access that migrant/bilingual students face, and how can we work together to bridge them? This presentation will begin with the barriers migrant students face, then will highlight the programmatic bridges developed by students and their advocates including Leadership Conferences, Cross Age Tutoring, Cascading Mentorship, and Service Learning.
“Every time we sit at a table to enjoy the fruits and grain and vegetables from our good earth, remember that they come from the work of men and women and children who have been exploited for generations.” ~ César Chávez, Co-Founder, United Farm Workers
What are the barriers to access that migrant/bilingual students face, and how can we work together to bridge them?
Who are the migrant workers? Global phenomena US Migrant Farmworkers come from many cultural backgrounds: Hmong, Japanese, and Russian Immigrants, Native American, and US born from European Descendants. The Students in this Partnership: Largely Latino, many from indigenous communities in Latin America Mix of Newcomers, Long Term Residents, and US Citizens Immigration status may vary even within one family Immigration status may vary even within one family Vast majority are either Bilingual or Trilingual
US Federal Migrant Education Program To Qualify for Migrant Status: A student whose family moves for the purposes of work in agriculture or fishing, at least once in a 3 year period. Benefits: Medical & Dental National Database for School Records Family Liaison and / or Graduations Specialists Migrant Youth Leadership Program College Access for Migrant Program College Access for Migrant Program
Barriers to Educational Access & Equity The Achievement Gap The Opportunity Gap
Ireland, L. (2009). Graduation and Dropout Statistics for Washington in 2007- 08. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Olympia, WA
Invisibility According to the Migrant Education Program (MEP), this district has 104 students identified as migrant and likely has a much larger population if the district collaborated with MEP to identify them.
“Among the children of immigrants, one of the populations placed at greatest risk of not finishing high school are the children of migrant farmworkers. Although it is difficult to track graduation rates for migrant students because of their mobility, the U.S. Department of Education estimates that only half of all the migrant children finish high school.” Gibson, Margaret A., & Hidalgo, Nicole D. (2009). Bridges to success in high school for migrant youth. Columbia University :Teachers College Record, 111, 683-711. Barriers to Educational Access & Equity
Barriers: The Opportunity Gap Poverty Mobility Cultural Differences Language Viewed as Problem to overcome Institutional Knowledge Immigration Status - FEAR Invisibility – Safety to Tell Their Story Lack of Understanding: Schools & Families
If you really knew me…. Made by the Migrant Leaders Made by the Migrant Leaders from La Venture & Mt. Baker Middle Schools With their teacher and advocates To help their teachers understand why sometimes their homework was not done or they seemed distracted in class…..
Contribution to Family In these harsh economic times, I have more students dropping out much earlier to work. They are leaving school at 12 and 13 to work full time because their families can not survive without their labor. MS Migrant Graduation Specialist Children play a central role in the family, working both in and outside the home.
Family First You have to understand that family comes first in my community. We have a long tradition of working the earth and a pride in the knowledge we have passed on from each generation. In my culture, you also respect your parents and your family comes before anything. It is not that my parents don’t value education. They do and they want me to be successful, but family will always come first. ~ A WWU Mixteco Student
Giving Back Why do you continue to work so hard to succeed in school despite the challenges? So I can help my family. So I can give back to my community. I am one of the privileged ones, I need to pass that on. My mom worked so hard for me, she gave up her home, her country, her friends, so I could have a better life here.
Bridges: The Design Principles Understand the Challenges Students Face Affirm Language and Culture as Assets Support Academic Language Development Recognize Resources within Communities Cultivate Opportunities for Success Build Positive Relationships Provide Support to Navigate Institutions Keep Hope Alive through Action Build Partnerships with Parents
WWU Initiatives Migrant Youth Leadership Conference TESL 497 Building Bridges with Migrant Youth Service Learning in Migrant Communities Youth Community Action Projects AmeriCorps Retention Project Specialist
WWU Migrant Youth Leadership Conferences Who: 100 students, 25 teachers & community advocates, 60 WWU students, 20 WWU Faculty When: November & March What: Experiential Leadership Curriculum Workshops Designed to Bridge Barriers Faculty Information Fair Affirm Language & Culture as Assets
TESL 497: Bridging Barriers with Migrant Youth Research & practice related to supporting students from migrant backgrounds Planning and teaching the MYLC Service learning in our partner programs Cultivating mentoring / advocacy skills Developing Critical Inquiry Cascading Mentorship
Youth Community Action Project MS Migrant Leadership Project GOAL: Educating Teachers & Community About the Experiences of Immigrant Youth Papers: Public Showings & DREAM Act Talk If You Really Knew Me : What I would tell teachers if I felt safe. Theatre of the Oppressed: Naming & Addressing Challenges / Biases Anthology of Stories of Immigration: Turning Pain into Power
MYL Benefits Safe Space for Sharing & Asking Questions Academic Language & Literacy Development Embedded in Engaging Learning Agency: Identify challenges and means of addressing them. Turning Pain into Power Sustaining Relationships with Teachers / Mentors Positive Cultural and Academic Identities School Retention & Success
Youth Community Action Project Latinos in Action Academic HS Course Introduction to Theory, Practice, Professionalism and Equity in Education Places Bilingual HS Students in Elementary Classrooms as Teaching Assistants Provides Leadership Opportunities in Community College Course Alignment & Credit
Benefits to Students PESB: Recruiting Washington Teachers Evaluation Academic language and literacy development embedded in meaningful and challenging work. Provides a community of support with peers. Both course readings and experiences affirm language and culture as assets, personally and professionally. Being a role model for younger students motivates LIA students to do well academically. Teaching younger students provides authentic responsibility and professional development.
Benefits (cont.) Service experience provides opportunities for LIA students to interact with professionals in both schools and in the community. The students’ accomplishments have inspired a shift in teachers’/community’s perspectives of Latino students’ as leaders. The course provides first generation high school graduates / college students exposure to higher education options and support to gain access to college. The LIA course has created new school identities that support students to succeed without giving up their culture, language, family or community. The course offers a school identity that is respected and valued by peers.
From Heroic Effort to the Heart of Education Understand the Challenges Students Face Affirm Language and Culture as Assets Support Academic Language Development Recognize Resources within Communities Cultivate Opportunities for Success Build Positive Relationships Provide Support to Navigate Institutions Keep Hope Alive through Action Build Partnerships with Parents