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Carl A. Lager

Fellow, 2001

Title: Improving Algebra Instruction for English Language Learners

Children who are learning English often struggle in their math classes because they find it difficult to understand the teacher's explanations or the written language of mathematics textbooks, and they may have further problems communicating their understandings to others. This study uses information about students collected from tasks, surveys, and interviews to identify and further investigate specific language obstacles that hinder Spanish-speaking middle school students as they attempt to learn algebra.

Eduardo Lara

Dissertation Fellow, 2013

Dissertation: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ‘Em About College: Brown Masculinity Portraitures on the Educational Experiences of Latino Military Veterans 

Abstract: This study examined the educational pipeline of Latino male military veterans who graduated from a California high school that lacked a college-going culture.  The theoretical framework employed by this study draws from critical race theory, borderlands theory and queer theory (Anzaldúa, 1987; Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995; Solórzano, 1998; Rabiowitz, 2002).  At the intersection of these theories lies Jotería, a conceptual model used to inform how multiple systems of oppression shape the educational experiences for Latinos as “Brown masculine bodies”.  Informed by ten participants, a theoretical sampling method and Lawrence-Lightfoot’s (1997) portraiture research design yielded an aesthetically complex and robust narrative of critical transitions for Latinos.  Preliminary findings suggest that schooling experiences underscore a form of racialized masculinity during the identity development of Latino males, in turn grooming them as ripe for recruiters to use deceptive practices to enlist this population of students while limiting information on going to college.

Maria Ledesma

Dissertation Fellow, 2005

Dissertation: Higher Education as a Political Act: Waging the Battle Against Fictive Meritocracy

Policy making in K-20 is often influenced by factors outside the realm of education. The language employed in public discourse to frame issues of educational opportunity also influences how policy is crafted and implemented. This fact coupled with ongoing debates around who deserves to gain entry into selective institutions of higher education, as well as enduring concerns about the use of race-conscious admissions policies have made college access and admissions a political act for many Students of Color. As more students apply for graduate and undergraduate admittance, race-conscious admissions practices aimed at equalizing the historic under-representation of Students of Color in higher education are increasingly scrutinized and attacked. The purpose of this dissertation then is to explore how critics and supporters of race-conscious admissions policies in the University of Michigan’s 2003 affirmative action cases addressed, or failed to address, prevailing patterns of schooling inequality and disparities in access to higher education and what this means for California and the nation.

Mary M. Bucholtz, Ph.D., and Jin Sook Lee, Ph.D.
UC Santa Barbara/linguistics and education

Faculty Seed Grantees, 2010

Title: School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society (SKILLS)

The proposed project is the pilot phase of an intervention enhancing college opportunities for high school students of diverse economic, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds. SKILLS centers on an innovative and rigorous college-level curriculum in linguistics, supported by intensive academic mentoring. Teams of Graduate Student Teaching Fellows, undergraduate assistants, and Master Teachers in ninth- through twelfth-grade social studies classrooms in Santa Barbara County teach linguistic concepts and methods using a hands-on, technologically cutting-edge curriculum that gives students extensive experience in college-level work. Students carry out and present original empirical linguistic research on scientific, social-scientific, and humanistic/ artistic aspects of the language and culture used in their peer groups, homes, and local communities. They thereby gain a deep understanding of linguistic phenomena, the research process, and academic communication from diverse disciplinary perspectives. In addition, students’ enhanced appreciation of their linguistic heritage and their own linguistic expertise helps foster their multicultural college-going identities.

Rebecca London, Ph.D.
UC Santa Cruz/Center for Justice, Tolerance & Community

Faculty Augmentation Grantee, 2002

Title: Postsecondary Education Among Welfare Recipients: What Factors Influence College Enrollment and Degree Completion?

Research suggests that welfare recipients who graduate from college programs reap considerable benefits–employment, increased earnings, and more. However, the trend in welfare policy is both to increase recipients’ work requirements and to shorten the time that recipients are eligible to receive welfare support. This study examines the welfare-related conditions that influence whether welfare recipients attend, persist in, and graduate from college programs. The study may suggest modifications to welfare policy that will increase the likelihood of financial independence for individual welfare recipients while reducing social costs.

Edward G. Lyon
UC Santa Cruz/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2011

Dissertation: Shifting from Assessment as Evaluation to Assessment as a Vehicle for Science Learning and Equity: Changes in Secondary Science Preservice Teachers’ Assessment Expertise

Abstract: Assessment plays a critical role in secondary science classrooms, both in reporting what students know, which affects their advancement through high school, as well as supporting students’ science learning. Yet assessing English Learners (ELs) equitably is a daunting task. This study aims to document how the assessment expertise of eleven secondary science preservice teachers (SSPTs) changed during a teacher education program (TEP) when provided with focal assessment-related instruction. Employing a mixed-method approach, I collected survey, interview, artifact, and classroom observation data. Responses to open-ended prompts were scored using a rubric and the content of interviews and observation field notes was qualitatively analyzed through iterative coding and pattern identification. The SSPTs demonstrated positive changes in their assessment expertise, such as “shifting” from recognizing assessment equity issues to awareness of assessment strategies appropriate for ELs. The findings have implications on how SSPTs are prepared to assess in linguistically diverse classrooms.

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