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Denise Pacheco

Dissertation Fellow, 2009

Dissertation: Writing Out LOUD: Developing Student Thinking and Voice through Poetry Writing Using Xicana Feminist Epistemologies and Critical Pedagogies

Abstract: This dissertation uses qualitative methods to investigate the pedagogy, learning and student participation in a creative writing intervention. “The Writing Out Loud Project” introduced a class of fifth graders to college level texts, literary analysis, and poetry writing. Guided by Xicana feminism and critical pedagogy this study argues that poetry writing is useful for bringing institutional recognition to students’ articulation of voice.  By federal standards these students, urban English Learners, are in need of standardized curriculum and instruction.  This dissertation counters this assumption, arguing that poetry writing allows students to practice meaningful ways of using language to develop complex forms of thinking and voice.  Through the teaching of poetry writing as a cultural process as opposed to isolated skills, students were encouraged to take on the identity of a poet. This study contributes to an understanding of the teaching practices and curricula necessary for meeting the academic needs of urban students.

Mariana Pacheco

Dissertation Fellow, 2002

Dissertation: Reading The Effects of Reform: A Case Study of The Effects of Reading Reforms and Language Policies in a High-Achieving School with a Significant Population of English Language Learners

Abstract: This dissertation will analyze the effects of the convergence of California policies that eliminate primary language instruction (Proposition 227) and that immerse English Language Learners in English-dominant instructional contexts that isolate reading skills from content and meaning. The study challenges theories of reading and language development implied in recent policies by examining the effects of their implementation in a high-achieving school that also serves many English Language Learners.

Gregory Palardy
UC Santa Barbara/education

Fellow, 2001

Title: Equitable Evaluation of School Performance

Using national longitudinal data, this study will examine how differences in student background characteristics along with segregation influence academic outcomes and create inequitable learning environments. The findings will inform school district and state policy makers about how school factors such as organization, resources, and climate can increase student achievement. Finally, this study will illustrate how a promising new statistical method can be used to study school effectiveness.

Lynette Parker
UC Berkeley/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2012

Theorizing the Ghetto: The case of Compton—From the suburban to the sub-urban and the intersection of resources, psychology, and oppression in the construction of Black identity and consciousness

Abstract: The salience of neighborhood transformation in fostering achievement and resiliency in children has been established. Yet the theory that illuminates a neighborhood’s transformation into a ghetto remains vague. This study seeks to clarify neighborhood transformation as part of a larger system of structural racism, oppression and disinvestment. This study illuminates the making of the ghetto of Compton, particularly its shift from a suburban space to a sub-urban space and the impending psychological damage and pathology that follows and impacts residents. Using qualitative interviews of 20 African Americans who grew up in Compton and attended neighborhood schools, and quantitative analysis of demographic shifts along side resource changes, this study theorizes the complex ways in which resources, psychology, and identity interplay in the creation of the ghetto and ultimately underachievement. The guiding research questions are 1) In what ways does the racial transformation of the Compton community explain the change in student achievement? 2) How do members of the Compton community understand their school experiences and their identities in relation to the city of Compton? 3) In what ways are characteristics of Compton as a ghetto internalized, accommodated or resisted?

Terri Patchen

Fellow, 2001

Title: The Relationship Between Latinas' Perceptions and Classroom Practices

Using classroom observations and interviews with students, this study investigates the relationship between adolescent Latina/os' perceptions of classroom interactions and their actual classroom participation. Since participation is an important factor in creating and taking advantage of learning opportunities, students' understandings of "appropriate" participation may have an important influence on their educational progress. The study will help schools understand and respond to the different ways boys and girls strive for high academic achievement.

Lindsay Perez-Huber

Dissertation Fellow, 2008

Dissertation: Suenos Indocumentados: The Educational Experiences of Undocumented Chicana College Students at a Public California Research University

Abstract: Utilizing a LatCrit framework, this study seeks to understand how the critical issues of race, immigration status, gender, and class mediate the educational trajectories of undocumented Chicana students at a four-year public research university. This study also identified the critical conditions they have utilized to navigate higher education. A total of 40 interviews will be conducted with undocumented and U.S. born Chicana students to explore how the college experiences of undocumented and U.S. born students vary. In addition, I will conduct 2 focus groups where these experiences will be further discussed and data collaboration will take place. I provide policy recommendations for institutions of higher education, as well as state and federal legislation that will create greater educational opportunity for this student population.

Deborah Perry-Romero
UC Santa Barbara/education

Fellow, 2001

Title: Using Technology to Empower Minority Families and Build on Student Strengths

Increasing access to technology offers opportunities to develop existing strengths and competencies for culturally diverse students, English language learners, and others. This research studies the after-school participation of Latino K-12 students and their parents in the creation of a desktop publication; at a university-school collaborative learning experience building upon the families‚ social-cultural, and linguistic resources. Ethnographic methods and conversation analysis serve to examine how participants develop new problem-solving strategies and technology-based literacies. The findings promise to expand schools’ understandings and inform instructional repertoires for educating all students well.

Cynthia Pickett
UC Davis/psychology

Faculty Seed Grantee, 2008

Title: Social Identification and the Successful Transition to College

A UC/ACCORD Faculty Research Seed Grant is being requested to develop a proposal that examines how social identities can help buffer minority students from the stress, loneliness, and uncertainty that often accompany the transition from high school to college. Although previous research has studied how factors such as social support, belonging, and racial climate impact the transition process, the proposed research takes a different approach by focusing on the benefits that can accrue from adopting particular social identities. A longitudinal study of incoming freshman will be conducted testing the hypothesis that a critical predictor of the well-being and academic achievement of minority students is the extent to which the identities that these students possess fulfill basic needs for self-esteem, certainty, assimilation, and differentiation. Study results will be used to develop a full research proposal that can yield insights into how to promote successful academic transitions for minority students.

Ronald K. Porter
UC Berkeley/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2011

Dissertation: Contested Humanity: Blackness and the Educative Remaking of the Human in the 20th Century

Abstract: The question of what constitutes “the human” has been of pivotal import since the rise of European modernity. While what it means to be human has been claimed to be a universal concept, the human has in fact been defined in ways that have been both narrow and exclusionary, especially in regards to race. The purpose of this dissertation is to understand how black educational thinkers have both critiqued and rearticulated Eurocentric ideals of humanity. Black educational thinkers pose a fundamental question: How do we go about the task of understanding, creating, and articulating notions of black humanity when the very language of humanity is based on a universal that excludes? I seek to understand how race has been rearticulated as a question of “the human” in the 20th century by focusing on the educational thought of three individuals: W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, and James Baldwin.

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