Disability Studies in Education, Bilingual Special Education, Special Education, Bilingual Education, Sociolinguistics, Immigrant Issues
My line of inquiry explores the educational experiences of the children and families who live at the intersection of disability and multilingualism. My current research focus examines the exclusion of bilingual Latino children with disabilities from the inclusion and bilingual education movements within public education.
From Mother to Teacher: The experiences of Spanish-speaking mothers of English Language Learners with disabilities during Covid-19 related remote schooling; Principal Investigator Using a qualitative design centering Spanish-speaking immigrant mothers of Emergent Bilinguals with Disabilities in NYC, this study aims to uncover how the shift to RS has exacerbated the racialized experiences and educational inequities that arise in placing Emergent Bilinguals with Disabilities in traditional monolingual-English settings, limited access to technology and school-home disconnects. The results can inform policymakers and school districts around the country on changes needed to effectively support these children and families. Data collection for this project concluded in November 2020.
Gentrification of Bilingual Education in NYC; Researcher with Kate Menken at Queens College - CUNY & the Graduate Center- CUNY and Ivana Espinet, Kingsborough Community College - CUNY Using Quantitative data, this study looks at the shifts in bilingual education programing in NYC schools. The aim of this study is to explore if program development is growing in the languages of the community or in prestigious languages. This study is also interested in exploring who has access to bilingual education programs versus transitional bilingual and English as a new language programs. This project is ongoing.
Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions of the Intersections between Bilingualism and Disability; Co-Principal Investigator with Rebecca Linares at CU-Boulder This study looks at the experiences and participation of pre-service teachers enrolled in a special topics course designed to explore the intersections of multilingualism and disability. This study examines pre-service teachers' familiarity with student populations labeled as Emergent Bilinguals (also referred to as English Language Learners) and Students with Disabilities. Specifically, the goal is to assess the degree to which pre-service teachers' thinking shifted around the reality that K-12 students can, and should be, dually-classified as Emergent Bilinguals with Disabilities (EBDs) depending on their backgrounds and needs. The goal of this study is also to examine the degree to which pre-service teachers see it as their responsibility to meet the needs of dually-classified students and the ways they describe doing this as future teachers. On May 2021, this project was extended to explore pre-service teacher positionally. The second part of this project will continue to gather data with pre-service teaches around their perceptions of themselves as learners and their future selves as educators. The aim of this extension is to explore how teacher candidate's socioacademic experiences as K-12 students influence their perceptions of what teaching should be and their own future teacher identity. Data collection for this project will resume in Fall 2021.
Northwell / Shanti Bhavan Consultancy; Researcher In collaboration with, and at the request of, the Shanti Bhavan Children's' Project, which runs a private boarding school for children who are part of the "untouchable" caste in Karnataka, Northwell Health was invited to contribute to a rural health initiative which would identify and meet the health care and public health needs of the 7-10 surrounding villages from which Shanti Bhavan draws its student population. As the only educator on the Northwell team, my role is two-fold: 1. to share best practices needed to support the academic and social-emotional development of students who have endured trauma (personal or relational) and 2. provide pedagogical support on how to advance emergent bilingual student's English literacy. This project is ongoing.
Descriptive Inquiry for/with Minoritized Students;Principal Investigator Descriptive inquiry (DI) is a method of gathering student data through observation while diminishing judgment and highlighting student strengths through a collaborative process involving teachers and family members. This was a practice developed in rural Vermont in the 1960s and since then has been adopted within progressive schools (Carini, 2001; Himley & Carini, 2000; Himley, 2011). This mixed methods study aims to see if a process like descriptive inquiry can lead to academic growth and increased social-emotional support for culturally and/or linguistically diverse students who are English language learners (ELLs) and/or students with disabilities. Additionally, can descriptive inquiry be used as a part of a multi-tiered support system to help reduce the number of CLD students referred for special education evaluations. Finally, can the collaborative community developed through the descriptive inquiry processes help teachers feel more supported thus leading to increased teacher satisfaction and teacher retention. This study began in July 2019 in an elementary school in a diverse NJ suburb. Study suspended in March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
CUNY-NYSIEB The CUNY-New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals (NYSIEB) is a collaborative project of the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS) and the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education funded by the New York State Education Department. The primary focus of this project is to improve the educational outcomes for emergent bilinguals, more commonly referred to as English Language Learners. The project's is stance that for schools to be successful at meeting the needs of emergent bilingual students they must develop ecologies of bilingualism that build on the home language practices of their students. In line with this goal, students are referred to as emergent bilinguals to make their bilingualism central to how one understand the needs of this population of students. As a member of the CUNY-NYSIEB team my role was to support schools through professional development as well as further the project through data collection and analysis.
The CUNY PIPELINE PROGRAM The Pipeline Program is a CUNY-wide initiative designed to provide educational and financial support to CUNY undergraduates from groups currently underrepresented in our nation's universities who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in preparation for college-level teaching and advanced research. As a Presidential MAGNET Fellow, I supported undergraduate students who were accepted into the Pipeline program through mentorship and guidance throughout the application process as well as supporting their scholarship and academic development as they prepared to present at the Annual Pipeline Conference.