Faculty & Research

Recent Publications - Journal Articles


Advocacy-Orientated Teacher Education in New Gateway States

Rong, X.L.
Teacher Education and Practice, 25 (4): 580-584 (2012)

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The 1965 Immigration Act and its 1976 amendments paved the way for the fourth wave of immigration, the largest ever in U.S. history. From 1970 to 2010, about 35 million immigrants entered a postindustrial and service-oriented U.S. society. However, a new and striking trend of the fourth wave of immigration has swept rapidly beyond the coastal, traditional gateway states and spread into new gateway states, including some intermountain Western states, such as Nebraska, and Southern states, such as Georgia and North Carolina, which have a tradition of little to no immigration. Immigration-induced demographic shifts over the past 20 years have transformed U.S. schools significantly in many ways. The most apparent transformations are the faces of the children in the classrooms and the languages they tend to speak. An increasing number of school children are foreign born, from minority groups, and bi- or multilingual. Training and retraining teachers to work with immigrant students has always been a challenging task. As a former public school teacher and a professor of teacher education, the author believes that this task should include an advocacy-oriented approach that facilitates teachers' abilities to encourage and empower immigrant students, make collaborative reciprocal accommodations in the curriculum and their instruction, and advocate bilingual education programs and contextualized assessments. For effective advocacy, teachers should acknowledge, understand, and appreciate the differences that various groups bring to the community, make effective outreach efforts, and seek collaboration from various levels of government and organizations (Sleeter, 1996). In this article, the author argues why advocacy is imperative for teachers in new gateway states and to what extent this should be realized.

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