Immigration Policy Impasse as an Actor: A Matter of Concern for Educators
This qualitative, ethnographic research inquiry intends to prompt further conversation about how scholar-practitioners in the social sciences approach divisive topics such as immigration policy in teacher education. In the U.S. Southeast, practicing K-12 teachers and the researcher-instructor participated in a federally funded English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) professional development program through a public university. The professional development program’s goal was to advance teachers’ knowledge of working with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Although the school district where the study took place has a high population of immigrant students, statewide policies prohibiting immigrant students from higher education was new information for many teacher-participants. Empirical data includes responses from public school teachers learning about restrictive educational policies that affect immigrant students as well as the researcher-instructor’s auto-ethnographic inquiry as a teacher-activist-scholar. Drawing from actor-network theory (Latour, 2005), this work contributes to conceptual and empirical studies in the nexus of education and policy impacting immigrants in the U.S., with an attempt to better understand ideological gridlock.
Keywords: immigration policy, ESOL teachers, teacher professional development, actor-network theory