Ignacio Higareda is an Associate Professor of Elementary and Secondary Education at Loyola Marymount University
University of Southern California: Ph.D, Educational Psychology
University of California, Santa Cruz: B.A, Psychology
Areas of Expertise (3)
Motivation and Literacy of Children in the Elementary Grades
The Impact of Latino Bilingual Educators On Classroom Instruction for English Learners
Industry Expertise (3)
Training and Development
A weakness of research on minority placement in special education is the tendency to overestimate the homogeneity of populations by failing to disaggregate factors such as language proficiency or to consider other relevant variables, for example, social class or program type. Similarly, certain groups have been understudied, such as English language learners (ELLs). We addressed these gaps by examining ELL placement patterns in California urban districts. Disproportionate representation patterns were related to grade level, language proficiency status, disability category, type of special education program, and type of language support program. Students proficient in neither their native language nor in English (particularly in secondary grades) were most affected. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.
This article examines the sociocultural scaffolding practices of 24 Latino paraeducators and 8 former Latino paraeducators (who had recently become teachers) as they worked with Latino students in two large urban schools. Instances were observed in which participants used important funds of knowledge in their interactions with students during instruction, in informal contexts, and in the case of the current paraeducators to inform the teachers with whom they worked in the community. Unfortunately, use of sociocultural scaffolding was scarce, nonstrategic, and not directly tied to instruction. We argue that under ideal instructional conditions, this knowledge should be fostered, used strategically, and appropriated more systematically.