What About Elementary Level Teachers: A Closer Look At The Intersection Between Standardization And Multilingualism

  • Ignacio Barrenechea University of Miami
Keywords: Standardized Testing, Multilingualism, Multiculturalism, Teachers, Grounded Theory

Abstract

The  specialized literature in the field of education has not focused in what ways the multilingual classroom setting exacerbates teachers’ tension concerning the need to comply with standards, on the one hand, and the aspiration to embrace diversity, on the other hand. That is to say, there is a need to understand how teachers adapt to confront the tension between standardization and multilingualism.

Understanding teachers’ experiences will be important to inform policy with regards to the implementation of standardized testing in multilingual settings and how these affect the cultural rights of minority students. The way teachers surf or navigate the tension will inform to what extent cultural rights of ethnic minority students are jeopardized due to the increasing interest in standardization.

Therefore, the purpose of this grounded study is to explore the adaptive process of elementary teachers in multilingual classrooms as they confront the tension between meeting the educational needs of multilingual students, while complying with the mandated standardization requirements in Miami public schools. The study adds to the vast literature on standardized testing by providing information about teachers’ experiences in highly multilingual settings, such in the public schools in Miami Dade County.

Understanding teachers’ experiences will be important to inform policy with regards to the implementation of standardized testing in multilingual settings and how these affect the cultural rights of minority students. The way teachers surf or navigate the tension will inform to what extent cultural rights of ethnic minority students are jeopardized due to the increasing interest in standardization.

Therefore, the purpose of this grounded study is to explore the experience and strategies of elementary teachers in multilingual classrooms as they confront the tension between meeting the educational needs of multilingual students while complying with the mandated standardization requirements in Miami public schools. The study adds to the vast literature on standardized testing by providing information about teachers’ experiences in highly multilingual settings, such in the public schools in Miami Dade County. 

Author Biography

Ignacio Barrenechea, University of Miami

Ignacio Barrenechea is a PhD student at the Community
Well-Being Program at the University of Miami. He holds a
Law Degree from Di Tella University in Argentina, a MA in
International Education from The George Washington
University and an LLM in International Legal Studies from
New York University. He began his work in education as a
secondary school teacher and, then, as an education policy
advisor to the Ministry of Education in the City of Buenos
Aires. He is currently working towards his dissertation, in
which he will focus in understanding to what extent servicelearning,
involving elite schools’ students and
disenfranchised communities, help promote bridging and
bonding.

Published
2018-06-28