11th Annual Breakthroughs in Education

You are Welcome to Learn Here: Effective Education for Immigrant Youth

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At the 11th Annual Breakthroughs in Education the Breakthrough community gathered to:

Hear from a panel about various components the immigrant student and family experience, multilingualism and multiculturalism in schools, highlighting a range of innovative, proven practices. The speakers will be:

Dr. Roberto Gonzales

Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education

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Roberto G. Gonzales is Professor of Education at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. His research centers on contemporary processes of immigration and social inequality, and stems from theoretical interests at the intersection of race and ethnicity, immigration, and policy. In particular, his research examines the effects of legal contexts on the coming of age experiences of vulnerable and hard-to-reach immigrant youth populations. Since 2002 he has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America (University of California Press), is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for twelve years. To date, Lives in Limbo has won seven major book awards, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills Award, the American Education Research Association Outstanding Book Award, the Law and Society Association Herbert Jacob Book Award, and the Society for Social Work and Research Book Award. It has also been adopted by several universities as a common read and is being used by a couple dozen K-12 schools in teacher and staff training. In addition, Professor Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This fall, he is teaming up with several colleagues to investigate educator responses to school climate issues stemming from immigration policies.

Professor Gonzales’ work has been has been featured in top journals, including the American Sociological Review, Current Anthropology, and the Harvard Educational Review as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

Professor Gonzales is an associate editor for the journal Social Problems and a research affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also participates in a transition to adulthood research network.  Prior to his faculty position at Harvard, Professor Gonzales held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and at the University of Washington. He received his B.A. from the Colorado College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California Irvine. His research is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WT Grant Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation.

Dr. Christine Leider

Program Director of Bilingual Education at Boston University

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Dr. Leider is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Language Education and the Program Director of Bilingual Education at Boston University. Professor Leider’s work focuses on supporting both student teachers and practicing teachers in developing the theoretical foundations, critical perspectives, and research-based instructional tools for working with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Her research focuses on bilingual language and literacy practices, developing bilingual models of reading comprehension, contexts of bilingual and immigrant student development, and re-conceptualizing the field’s understanding of how we assess measure, and understand bilingualism & biliteracy.

Dr. Leider collaborates with teacher educators and practicing teachers in Massachusetts around advocating for bilingual students at the classroom, school, and policy level.  Dr. Leider is an elected member of the MATSOL Board of Directors and an appointed member of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education English Learner / Bilingual Advisory Council. She also serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Bilingual Education Student Group at BU Wheelock.Dr. Leider’s current research projects include the ICMEE Project, a federally funded National Professional Development grant on which she serves as the Lead Evaluator; she is also the Co-PI on a project examining Massachusetts classified/reclassified English Learner’s access to four-year college. Dr. Leider’s engaged scholarship includes professional development and collaboration with classroom teachers in the Greater Boston Area on developing anti-racist, culturally/linguistically responsive, and inclusive curricular and instructional practices that support bilingual students’ language and literacy development.  Dr. Leider also collaborates with teacher educators and advocates on addressing issues of equity and diversity in ESL and SEI Teacher Education.

Dr. Mariela Páez

Associate Professor at Boston College Lynch School of Education

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Dr. Mariela Páez is Associate Professor at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College. She has a doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Her research interests include bilingualism, children’s language and literacy development, and early childhood education. She has training in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, child development, psychology, and linguistics.

Dr. Páez has taught courses in second language and literacy learning, child development, and methods of early childhood teaching. In addition, she has carried out professional development related to the education of ELL/DLLs with early childhood principals and teachers including Head Start programs. From 2000 to 2005, she was the Co-Investigator of the Early Childhood Study of Language and Literacy Development of Spanish-speaking Children, which investigated the factors that influence the course of English and Spanish literacy development for young Spanish-speaking children from low-socioeconomic backgrounds. From 2007-2011, she was the Principal Investigator for the Early Childhood Intervention Study: Improving the Language and Literacy Skills of Spanish-English Bilingual Kindergartners, another federally funded longitudinal intervention study designed to improve the language and literacy development of young bilingual students.

In addition, Dr. Páez was Co-Principal Investigator for the project Teaching Academic Language in the Content Areas: Enhancing Achievement for English Language Learners, a national professional development grant. In 2013, Páez was appointed to the Early Literacy Expert Panel of Massachusetts, and she helps develop recommendations for improving reading proficiency among students in the state.

Currently, she is conducting a study investigating practices of exemplary teachers for DLLs across different early childhood programs (i.e., public, private and Head Start). She is author of numerous articles and has published in leading journals including Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, American Educational Research Journal, Topics in Language Disorders, and Equity & Excellence in Education. She is also co-editor of Latinos: Remaking America (with Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, 2002, 2008).

Marcela E. García, Moderator

Editorial Writer for the Boston Globe

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Marcela García is an editorial writer and member of the Boston Globe editorial board. She writes editorials, the daily unsigned essays representing the official view of the Boston Globe as an institution, as well as opinion columns under her byline. Marcela joined the Globe opinion and editorial pages in early 2014. She has more than 10 years of experience working as a bilingual journalist in Boston, focusing on immigration policy and Latino issues coverage in the US. Previously, she was a correspondent for Telemundo Boston; a special contributor to the Boston Business Journal; and the editor of El Planeta, Boston’s largest Spanish-language publication. Marcela is originally from Mexico; she received a graduate degree in journalism from the Harvard Extension School in 2005 and also holds a B.S. degree in Economics.

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