Research Proposal

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How have different educators and policy makers adapted their strategies in order to best cater to non English speaking Latinos and illegal immigrants?

In 2011 the number of illegal immigrants was close to 12 million people. Most illegal immigrants come from Latin America with hopes of providing a better life for their kids and for their families. Many American teachers don’t know exactly how to approach the education of these new citizens. How do different reformers such as Pedro Noguera approach the situation? What are some arguments about civil rights for illegal immigrants and their kids? Are illegal immigrants by law allowed an education and is it equal? Latino and immigrant populations are expected to continue to grow. how have different educators and policy makers adapted their strategies in order to best cater to this demographic?

Why should this be researched?

This population is growing so much more quickly than any other population in the United States. It is important to know what has happened in the past and how to make the American Dream attainable for this group of people. My secondary source “The New Latino South” gives a quick story about a teacher from Atlanta who came into contact with a growing student population of Latinos some who couldn’t speak English. This teacher struggled with the situation because some of her new students had little formal education and couldn’t speak English. The goal of this research paper is to find out what has been done in the past and survey the literary landscape for the best potential alternatives for the future in order to offer an equal educational experience.

Where and how you found your primary sources?

My primary sources include “Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino Men and Boys” and “The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies”. These readings are found in the Trinity College Library. Andrew Wainer’s piece seems very useful because it provides qualitative research data that provide tips and clues for teachers.


Slavin, Robert E, and Margarita Calderón. Effective Programs for Latino Students. Mahwah, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates, 2001. Print.

Contreras, Frances. Achieving Equity for Latino Students: Expanding the Pathway to Higher Education Through Public Policy. New York: Teachers College Press, 2011. Print.

Noguera, Pedro, Aída Hurtado, and Edward Fergus. Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino Men and Boys: Invisible No More. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.

MacDonald, Victoria-María. Latino Education in the United States: A Narrated History from 1513-2000. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Print.

Gandara, Patricia C, and Frances Contreras. The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2009. Print.

Wainer, Andrew. The New Latino South and the Challenge to Public Education. The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, n.d. Web. <>.

One thought on “Research Proposal”

  1. Booker, as we discussed this afternoon, your research question examines an interesting issue and would be stronger by making two revisions:
    1) focusing on a longer time period to examine change & continuity (such as 1990s to present, or similar, depending on sources)
    2) focus more on your area of interest, language instruction for Spanish-speaking students, rather than citizenship for undocumented students

    In our conversation you suggested this revised RQ: “How have educators changed their policies on language-learning for Spanish-speaking students from the 1990s to the present?” This is more focused and will take you in a slightly different direction for sources. You should look at some of the titles above, and also re-examine your search strategy (using our Ed 300 sources page) to identify articles & books directly related to your new RQ. For instance, if you’re looking for how educators are teaching about language, then look for “bilingual education” (maintenance, transitional) and/or “ESL” and/or “English-only” or “language policies” at the state level. Depending on your sources, you could choose to narrow your focus to a particular geographic area.

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