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Teaching in Times of COVID: Supporting Teachers to Work with Immigrant Children and Families Toward Responsive Teaching and Advocacy


Ana Christina da Silva

Discussions about improving learning opportunities and educational equity for young children have been at the top of educational agendas in the U.S. These discussions have been intensified in the last couple of years due to restrictions in learning environments imposed by COVID-19. However, often missing from such conversations are the aggravated sociopolitical challenges facing immigrant children and families-a population that has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Further missing are discussions about how best to prepare and support teachers to be responsive to the deep educational inequities and challenges laid bare by COVID-19 with respect to immigrant and refugee children. In this presentation, I will outline ways by which teachers, families, community organizers, and university faculty and students, can work together to expand capacity to create and enact 1) new contexts for advocacy action, 2) new forms of school, family, and community connections, and 3) new circulations of languages and literacies across households, classrooms, and communities. Ana Christina da Silva is is a professor of the practice of education at the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University who specializes in language, literacy, and cultural studies. Her research centers on the teaching and learning of linguistically/culturally/racially diverse students; on understanding family and community resources in diverse urban in- and out-of-school contexts; and on partnerships between family-community-school-university that support and emphasize educational opportunity and equity. She is the author of the edited volume "Re-Designing Teacher Preparation for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Young Students: An Ecological Approach." She has been the associate editor for the Journal of Literacy Research and is currently the associate editor for the Urban Education Journal.


Alumni/Reunion, Humanities, Lecture/Talk, Research, Social Sciences, United States Focus