The Role of Educators in Policy and Practice for Undocumented Students
AuthorCarvajal, Cynthia Nayeli
Policy as Practice
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractUndocumented high school students rely on trusted educator allies to support their academic mobility, often by identifying and interpreting policy. Policy research has shown that educators are capable of shifting and creating policy in an effort to create opportunity, especially, when policy historically limits opportunities for marginalized students. This study aimed to identify the role of educators in the lives of undocumented students and the process by which educators interpret , appropriate, and create policy across two states. My study asks what is the role of educators in policy and practice as it relates to undocumented students. Through a comparative study between educator networks in Arizona and New York, my study aimed to understand how educators defined their roles, engaged with policy, and created networks to support undocumented students in their schools. While previous research on undocumented student support systems utilizes the narratives of undocumented students lived trauma, this study shifts the focus towards educator allies. The analysis of my study demonstrated that educators defined their role to empower other educators, address status-blind narratives, and intervene to support their students. Often this intervention took the form of interpreting and appropriating policies while working within other educators and networks. The results of my study indicated that despite the difference in policy and politics educators across both states share similar practices to advocate for undocumented students. However, with no formalized roles in schools, these educator allies conduct strenuous and consuming work without structure or compensation. Therefore the results of my study make a case for a formalized role within K-12 schools to support educator advocacy and understand educator strategies.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Educational Leadership & Policy