Teacher Education Institute (TEI) Initiative A Latin@-focused Pathway into Higher Education and Education Professions
I. NLERAP: Confronting the Latin@ Education Crisis
- As largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States, “the future of the U.S. is,” as President Obama passionately declared, “inextricably linked to the future of the Latino [Hispanic] community” (US Dept. of Ed, 2011, p. 2).
- Latin@s are chronically being underserved by the nation’s public schools, leading experts to declare a “Latin@ education crisis” (Gándara & Contreras, 2009).
- In 2000 a national network of educators, community activists, university scholars, and other educational stakeholders within the broader Latin@ community came together to form NLERAP.
- NLERAP takes a participatory, culturally relevant, and community-centered approach to research, policy development, and education to improve the life chances of Latino/a students, their families, and communities (Pedraza, Rivera, & Nuñez, 2003).
II. TEI: Re-imagining Teacher Education and School-Community Transformation
- NLERAP’s Teacher Education Institute (TEI) initiative seeks to create a critical mass of “high quality” educators by way of “Grow-Your-Own” model to impact the Williamsburg/Bushwick areas.
- The Williamsburg/Bushwick neighborhoods are 53 percent “Hispanic—more than twice that of Brooklyn as a whole…over 35 percent of families live below the poverty line…half the residents do not have a high school diploma, and only 8 percent have a college education” (SUNY Downstate, 2010, p. 6).
- Nurturing multiple cadres of high quality teachers can then be an infusion of teachers into under-resourced Latino communities will have a profound impact on students and the broader communities.
- The TEI will focus on increasing teacher interns’ capacity to:
- Affirm and build upon the linguistic and cultural heritage of Latina/o students;
- Develop critical literacies in the areas of reading, writing, numeracy, science, and personal financial;
- Foster critical thinking skills among students that will facilitate their intellectual and social endeavors;
- Nurture a commitment to service to community through civic engagement among students; and
- Foster Latino/a students’ physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.
Stay in touch with us as the project further expands. If you are interested in learning more please contact Pedro Pedraza firstname.lastname@example.org