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The New Educator

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Many mainstream educators of English language learners (ELLs) have experienced neither adequate pre-service preparation nor appropriate in-service professional development. Yet, ELLs are one of the fastest growing student populations in the United States. While practicing teachers typically espouse the view that all students can learn, they often lack the knowledge and skills necessary to support ELLs in their academic and language development.This gap in preservice teacher education programs often leads general education teachers to rely heavily on bilingual paraprofessionals and language teachers for educating ELL students. This paper describes a 5-year professional development initiative, Project Alianza, during which the researchers provoked dissonance through texts, narratives, experiences, and encounters to push teacher participants to name and question their current assumptions, biases, beliefs, and practices. A teacher inquiry project emerged from the Analysis of participant writing suggests that a teacher inquiry project caused teachers to make changes in their beliefs and professional practices as they developed a sense of agency for educating and advocating for ELL students.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article pending publication by Taylor & Francis in THE NEW EDUCATOR, version of record will be available online at: THE NEW EDUCATOR.