Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2015 Issue »

    “My Student Was Apprehended by Immigration”

    A Civics Teacher’s Breach of Silence in a Mixed-Citizenship Classroom

    DAFNEY BLANCA DABACH
    In this article, Dafney Blanca Dabach investigates how teachers and their students of different citizenship statuses navigate tensions in formal state-sponsored citizenship education. In traditional US high school civics courses, undocumented immigrant youths’ liminal status is often invisible and overlooked as undocumented youth are educated alongside their peers who have full citizenship rights. Disjunctures between idealized rights and structural exclusions become barriers to meaningful civic education. Through this qualitative case study, Dabach examines the possibilities of a teacher’s brokering role across different forms of knowledge and experience in a classroom that included undocumented immigrants, naturalized immigrants, and US-born students whose parental origins spanned twelve countries across five continents. She asks: How do civics teachers who are aware of their students’ varied citizenship statuses discuss political participation in mixed-status classrooms during nationally focused events, such as elections? And, how do students of differing citizenship statuses respond during such times? Dabach demonstrates how the teacher apprenticed youth into practices of political participation while recounting narratives about the impact of immigration deportation policies at the local school site. In doing so, the teacher breached norms of silence, interrupting norms that contribute to maintaining status quo exclusions. This case study documents how the teacher simultaneously socialized youth of different citizenship statuses in ways that they found meaningful—across citizenship types. This work contributes to conceptualizing how civic education may be more inclusive in the face of systematic exclusions.   

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    Dafney Blanca Dabach is an assistant professor at the University of Washington’s College of Education. Her research focuses on teachers’ work with immigrant, bilingual, and multilingual youth. She also investigates how institutional categories and policies shape students’ access to educational opportunities. Her most recent scholarship addresses underserved students’ access to social studies education, including civics. Her research has been honored with prizes for both historical analysis and contemporary educational research, including the Morrison-Miller Prize and the American Educational Research Association’s Bilingual Education Research SIG’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. Dabach has taught youth and adults in the United States and Mexico.
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    Fall 2015 Issue

    Abstracts

    “Diles la verdad”
    Deportation Policies, Politicized Funds of Knowledge, and Schooling in Middle Childhood
    SARAH GALLO AND HOLLY LINK
    “My Student Was Apprehended by Immigration”
    A Civics Teacher’s Breach of Silence in a Mixed-Citizenship Classroom
    DAFNEY BLANCA DABACH
    The Art of Unlearning
    CLINT SMITH
    On the Grammar of Silence
    The Structure of My Undocumented Immigrant Writer’s Block
    ALBERTO LEDESMA
    Undocumented Undergraduates on College Campuses
    Understanding Their Challenges and Assets and What It Takes to Make an Undocufriendly Campus
    CAROLA SUÁREZ-OROZCO, DALAL KATSIAFICAS, OLIVIA BIRCHALL, CYNTHIA M. ALCANTAR, EDWIN HERNANDEZ, YULIANA GARCIA, MINAS MICHIKYAN, JANET CERDA, ROBERT T. TERANISHI
    UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program
    Holistic Strategies for Undocumented Student Equitable Success Across Higher Education
    RUBEN ELIAS CANEDO SANCHEZ AND MENG L. SO
    Undocumented Status and Schooling for Newcomer Teens
    ELAINE C. ALLARD
    Editor's Review
    STEPHANY CUEVAS
    Afterword
    Imagined Futures
    ROBERTO G. GONZALES
    Foreword
    Human Rights for Undocumented Students and Their Families
    MARY C. WATERS
    Editors' Introduction
    Dissolving Boundaries: Understanding Undocumented Students’ Educational Experiences
    Untangling Plyler’s Legacy
    Undocumented Students, Schools, and Citizenship
    ROBERTO G. GONZALES, LUISA L. HEREDIA, GENEVIEVE NEGRÓN-GONZALES
    The Unlikelihood of Family
    A Photographic Essay on Transnational Experiences
    CRISTINA LLERENA NAVARRO

    Book Notes

    Everyday Illegal
    Joanna Dreby