Teacher Leadership for Social Change in Bilingual and Bicultural Education

Author: Deborah K. Palmer

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Leadership takes on a tone of urgency when we are struggling for justice. At the same time, the right to lead – the agency to embrace a leadership identity – can also feel more distant when we are marginalized by the dominant society. For bilingual education teachers working with immigrant communities, the development of critical consciousness, pride in the cultural and linguistic resources of the bilingual community, the vocabulary to name and face marginalization, and a strong professional network are fundamental to their development of professional identities as leaders and advocates. Based on the experiences of 53 Spanish-English bilingual teachers in Central Texas, this book aims to explore, define, and understand bilingual teacher leadership. It merges the themes of leadership, teacher preparation and bilingual education and is essential reading for bilingual or ESL teachers, teacher educators and researchers serving an increasingly transnational/translingual student body.

This is the first book to deeply examine teacher leadership within bilingual education, making it a must-read for researchers and practitioners alike. Palmer's writing is anchored in ample rich data that she very thoughtfully presents, offering readers new understandings about bilingual teacher leadership as well as a model of teacher leader preparation for others to emulate.

Kate Menken, Queens College & Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA

I highly recommend Palmer's Teacher Leadership for Social Change in Bilingual and Bicultural Education for use in preparing bilingual teacher leaders. This book is an excellent resource and a source of inspiration for aspirant bilingual teacher leaders as they engage in their own transformational journey and in transforming the world.

Belinda Bustos Flores, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA

Kudos to Deborah Palmer for this timely and engaging account on the development of strong and professional identities among the bilingual teachers whose lives she touched. It captures the development of an enduring Central Texas language ecology in which she was not only deeply involved, but also pivotal in its development. This inspiring text is a must-read for all who seek to cultivate critically conscious teachers.

Angela Valenzuela, University of Texas at Austin, USA

This book delivers powerful messages and serves as a resource for teachers, teacher educators, administrators,
researchers, and instructors in bilingual/bicultural contexts, and more books like this are needed to further advance teacher leadership for those in bilingual/bicultural education.

International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2019

...the book provides valuable and inspiring ways for bilingual teachers to develop their leadership identity. By providing co-constitutive possibilities for bilingual teacher leadership, Proyecto Maestría demonstrates the imperative work of teaching for social change via agency and praxis.

Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 2021

...this book awakens in me a hunger for collaboration, for participation in advocacy, for reflecting on my own practice as an educator, and for exploring my own linguistic and cultural identities so as to better understand the diverse students who fill my university classrooms. Above all, I appreciate Palmer's research for reminding us of what is at stake for emergent bilingual children in contemporary schools, for illustrating a possible path forward, and for providing detailed examples of the collective wisdom and agency of contemporary teachers.

Bilingual Research Journal, 2020

[This book] is important to the field because it places bilingual teachers as leaders and gives them a voice within the larger context of education where bilingual teachers are usually marginalized along with their students. More so, Palmer has now grounded a theory for bilingual teacher leadership that can be used as theoretical framework for future research studies.

International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2020

Deborah K. Palmer is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. She conducts qualitative research using ethnography and discourse analysis in linguistically diverse settings, with a particular interest in bilingual education policy and politics, critical additive bilingual education, and translanguaging.


Chapter 1: Why Bilingual Teacher Leadership?

Chapter 2: Literature Review: Defining Bilingual Teacher Leadership (with Kimberly Strong)

Chapter 3: Developing Teacher Agency and Identity in Bilingual/Bicultural Educational Contexts: Critical Pedagogies for Hope and Transformation

Chapter 4: The Proyecto Maestría Program and the Teachers

Chapter 5: Bilingual Teacher Leaders are Reflexive Practitioners

Chapter 6: Bilingual Teacher Leaders are Cultural/Linguistic Brokers

Chapter 7: Bilingual Teacher Leaders are Collaborators

Chapter 8: Conclusion: Bilingual Teacher Leaders are Advocates and Change Agents

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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