Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2020 Issue »

    Teachers’ Efforts to Support Undocumented Students Within Ambiguous Policy Contexts

    Hillary Parkhouse, Virginia R. Massaro, Melissa J. Cuba, and Carolyn N. Waters
    In this research article, authors Hillary Parkhouse, Virginia Massaro, Melissa Cuba, and Carolyn Waters examine teachers’ perceptions of their responsibilities to support undocumented students and the barriers they encounter in fulfilling them. Since the 1982 Plyler v. Doe decision guaranteed public K–12 education to undocumented students, there has been little policy guidance on how schools can support these students, particularly within the increasingly contentious political climate. Focusing on one new destination area in Virginia, the authors interviewed eighteen teachers who expressed their support for undocumented students. Of various subjects, grade levels, and years’ experience, these teachers represent a critical case in that they were likely to be more attentive to the experiences of these students than would the general teacher population. They took a variety of actions to enhance students’ feelings of security and normalcy through curricular decisions, emotional and material support, and adaptive advocacy at the school and district levels. However, the lack of clear policy led to varied interpretations of their responsibilities and a fear that their actions violated school or district guidelines.

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    Hillary Parkhouse (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4785-501X) is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education. Her research focuses on critical pedagogy, particularly culturally sustaining, empowering, and sociopolitically conscious practices, as well as how teacher education can support these practices. She also studies immigration and education, teaching for global awareness, and citizenship education. Parkhouse’s work has appeared in Review of Educational Research, Teachers College Record, and Theory & Research in Social Education. She is a coauthor (with Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, Jocelyn Glazier, and J. Montana Cain) of Becoming a Globally Competent Teacher (ASCD, 2019) and coeditor (with Summer Melody Pennell, Ashley S. Boyd, and Alison LaGarry) of Possibilities in Practice: Social Justice Teaching in the Disciplines (Peter Lang, 2017). She is a former high school social studies and English as a second language teacher.

    Virginia R. Massaro (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5349-4030) is a lecturer in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies at Old Dominion University. She teaches courses on language arts methods; literacy research, theory, and practice; and introduction to the teaching profession. Her research focuses on literacy and language development of English learners, dual language programs, and elementary teacher preparation. She is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher.

    Melissa J. Cuba (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1011-1268) is a research and teaching faculty member in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she completed her doctoral studies. She teaches courses on ethics, the social context of education, and education policy and conducts program evaluation research for the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium. Cuba draws from fifteen years’ experience working in PK–12 schools in the US and abroad as a teacher of English for speakers of other languages, special education, and Spanish. Her research focuses on developing and enhancing evidence-based practices and policies to mitigate the disproportionality of emergent bilinguals in special education and improve student outcomes. She has published several peer-reviewed studies on factors that impact opportunities and outcomes for these students.

    Carolyn N. Waters (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4880-7922) teaches English as a second language (ESL) at Falling Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. She has taught ESL at the middle school, high school, community college, and university levels for twenty-eight years and facilitates professional development for educators of English learners. Waters earned a doctorate in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020. Her research focuses on the validity of English language proficiency tests and on addressing the social and emotional needs of immigrant youth through mindfulness and restorative practices.
  2. Winter 2020 Issue


    Teachers’ Efforts to Support Undocumented Students Within Ambiguous Policy Contexts
    Hillary Parkhouse, Virginia R. Massaro, Melissa J. Cuba, and Carolyn N. Waters

    Book Notes

    Campus Counterspaces
    Micere Keels

    American Higher Education Since World War II
    Roger L. Geiger

    Talking About Leaving Revisited
    edited by Elaine Seymour and Anne-Barrie Hunter

    Moving Up Without Losing Your Way
    Jennifer M. Morton

    The Ocean in the School
    Rick Bonus

    Progressive Dystopia
    Savannah Shange

    Radical Hope
    Kevin M. Gannon

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