Humanizing power of counter-stories: Teachers’ understandings of emergent bilinguals in rural settings
Journal article by Paula Golombek, Aleksandra Olszewska, and Maria Coady on Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, published May 2022.
This article explores how counter-narratives of undocumented students' journeys to and life in the United States can disrupt White, monolingual teachers' understandings of emergent bilinguals (EBs) in their rural classrooms. Online postings and plans of action of two teachers were analyzed through Vygotsky's theorizing on imagination, emotion, and catharsis, and Nussbaum's narrative imagination. Reading the counter-narratives triggered an emotional response, enabling teachers to develop an informed empathy and to re-story interactions with previous EBs and understandings of familiar rural spaces. With expanded understandings of undocumented students' lived experiences, teachers could more responsively address the needs of EBs and their families.