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Engaging Immigrant Youth: Education for the 21 st Century. Carola Suárez -Orozco, Ph.D. Co -Director Immigration Studies @ NYU Professor of Applied Psychology NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development www .nyu.education /immigration/.

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engaging immigrant youth education for the 21 st century

Engaging Immigrant Youth: Education for the 21st Century

CarolaSuárez-Orozco, Ph.D.

Co-Director Immigration Studies @ NYU

Professor of Applied Psychology

NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, & Human Development

www.nyu.education/immigration/

harvard immigration study
Harvard Immigration Study
  • Longitudinal, interdisciplinary, & comparative
  • Documenting continuities and discontinuities in immigration youth’s educational attitudes and adaptations over time
  • 400 Youth from Central America, China, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, & Mexico
  • Ages 9 & 14 at beginning of study
  • Recruited from 51 schools in 7 school districts in the Boston & San Franciscoareas
  • Thirty graduate level bicultural & multilingual research assistants
  • Funded to date by the National Science Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation and The Spencer Foundation
study objectives
Study Objectives
  • Identify factors that contribute to 2 ACADEMIC outcomes in Year 5
    • Grades
    • Achievement tests
  • Identify Trajectories of Grade performance over the course of 5 years
  • Describe Factors that contribute to Trajectories
    • Ecological framework
    • Using mixed methods
    • Cumulative & interactional developmental challenges
triangulated data collection strategies
Triangulated Data Collection Strategies
  • Ethnographic Observations
  • Structured Interviews:
    • Students
    • Parents
    • School Personnel
  • Bilingual Verbal Abilities Testing
  • Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement
  • Report Cards
  • Teacher Completed Behavioral Checklists
engagement
Engagement

Cognitive

Engagement

BEHAVIORAL

ENGAGEMENT

GRADES

Relational

Engagement

slide8

Predicting Academic Achievement Outcomes

Control Variables

~Gender

~Country of Origin

~Years in U.S.

GRADES

Year 5

slide9

Predicting Academic Achievement Outcomes

Control Variables

~Gender

~Country of Origin

~Years in U.S.

GRADES

Year 5

School Factors

~School Segregation

~Percent of students in

school passing high

stakes English test

slide10

Predicting Academic Achievement Outcomes

Control Variables

~Gender

~Country of Origin

~Years in U.S.

GRADES

Year 5

Home Factors

~2 Adults in home

~Mother’s Education

~Working Father

School Factors

~School Segregation

~Percent of students in

school passing high

stakes English test

slide11

Predicting Academic Achievement Outcomes

Student Factors

~Attitudes towards School

~Psychological Symptoms

~Cognitive engagement

~Relational engagement

~Behavioral engagement

~Academic English proficiency

Control Variables

~Gender

~Country of Origin

~Years in U.S.

GRADES

Year 5

Home Factors

~2 Adults in home

~Mother’s Education

~Working Father

School Factors

~School Segregation

~Percent of students in

school passing high

stakes English test

32% of variance

slide12

Predicting Academic Achievement Outcomes

Student Factors

~Attitudes towards School

~Psychological Symptoms

~Cognitive engagement

~Relational engagement

~Behavioral engagement

~Academic English proficiency

Control Variables

~Gender

~Country of Origin

~Years in U.S.

Achievement

Test

Year 5

Home Factors

~2 Adults in home

~Mother’s Education

~Working Father

School Factors

~School Segregation

~Percent of students in

school passing high

stakes English test

slide13

Predicting Academic Achievement Outcomes

Student Factors

~Attitudes towards School

~Psychological Symptoms

~Cognitive engagement

~Relational engagement

~Behavioral engagement

~Academic English proficiency

Control Variables

~Gender

~Country of Origin

~Years in U.S.

Achievement

Test

Year 5

Home Factors

~2 Adults in home

~Mother’s Education

~Working Father

School Factors

~School Segregation

~Percent of students in

school passing high

stakes English test

75% of variance

slide14

Predicting Academic Achievement Outcomes

Student Factors

~Attitudes towards School

~Psychological Symptoms

~Cognitive engagement

~Relational engagement

~Behavioral engagement

~Academic English proficiency

Control Variables

~Gender

~Country of Origin

~Years in U.S.

Achievement

Test

Year 5

Home Factors

~2 Adults in home

~Mother’s Education

~Working Father

School Factors

~School Segregation

~Percent of students in

school passing high

stakes English test

11% of variance

characteristics of declining pathways
Characteristics of Declining Pathways
  • Less educated parents
  • Attending poor quality schools
  • Gaps in English language proficiency
  • Most family conflict
  • More likely to have protracted separations
  • Many with unauthorized status
  • Endorsed psychological symptoms
  • Few supportive school relations
  • Low behavioral engagement
  • Difficulty sustaining incoming hope & drive
characteristics of low achievers
Characteristics of Low Achievers
  • Least resources
  • Come in with gaps in literacy & schooling
  • Attended worst schools
  • Significant family problems
  • Few supportive school relations
  • Did not have the psychological issues of the Decliners
  • Lure of work
  • Never find their academic bearings
characteristics of improvers
Characteristics of Improvers
  • Initial transplant shock
  • Often had undergone pre-migration trauma
  • Attended better schools than decliners or low achievers
  • More likely to have intact families & working parents
  • More likely to connect with a mentor
characteristics of high achievers
Characteristics of High Achievers
  • Most educated parents
  • Least family separations
  • Better family relations
  • Best emotional wellbeing
  • Attended best schools
  • Most supportive school based relationships
  • Best English language skills
  • Highest behavioral engagement
educational implications
Educational Implications
  • Practices that serve ALL students well
    • Rigorous
    • Relevant for the 21st century
    • Fostering Relationships
    • Students at the center of Teaching & Learning
    • Innovative Pedagogy (beyond “chalk & talk”)
    • Flexible & Relevant Assessment (e.g. portfolios)
    • Providing Explicit College Pathway Knowledge
    • Providing Tutoring/After-school/Summer academic supports
    • Finding ways NOT to make mentoring accidental
accommodating specific newcomer students
Accommodating Specific Newcomer Students
  • Engaging family & community supports
    • Community outreach & cultural brokers
      • Faith based supports too often overlooked
    • New culturally relevant definitions of parental involvement
  • Thorough initial intake evaluation assessing strengths and gaps
    • Literacy
    • Interrupted schooling
    • Academic strengths & deficits
  • Providing Language learning supports
  • Providing supports for psychological needs
    • Trauma & Separations
    • Adjustments to a new land
    • Fostering Relationships
references
References
  • Cynthia García-Coll and Katherine Magnuson. (1997). "The Psychological Experience of Immigration: A Developmental Perspective," in A. Booth, A. C. Crouter & Nancy Landale, eds., Immigration and the Family, pp. 91-132.
  • Hernández, D., and E. Charney. 1998. From Generation to Generation: The Health and Well-Being of Children of Immigrant Families. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press. 1998.
  • Suárez-Orozco, C., Gaytán, F. Bang, H. J., Pakes, J., & Rhodes, J. (2010). Academic Trajectories of Newcomer Immigrant Youth. Developmental Psychology, 46(3) 602-618.
  • Suárez-Orozco, C. and Suárez-Orozco, M. Children of Immigration, 2001. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • CarolaSuárez-Orozco, Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, and Irina Todorova. Learning a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society, 2008. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • CarolaSuárez-Orozco, Irina Todorova, and Josephine Louie, "Making Up for Lost Time:" The Experience of Separation and Reunification Among Immigrant Families. Family Process 41(4), (2001), pp. 625-643.