Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Journey towards equity: How interactions between stakeholders, policy, and environment impact implementation during the first year of a dual language program
by Walter, Catherine, Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2015, 312; 3742199
Abstract (Summary)

The persistent achievement (opportunity) gap between White and Latino students continues to plague our education system. As schools and policy makers attempt to narrow this gap, many districts are investigating dual language programs since the results of instructional practices that embrace a child’s native language prove more effective than English-only practices. However, research in the field suggests challenges and inconsistencies with implementation, and few studies investigate the initial stages and the complexity of dual language program implementation. Researchers such as Honig (2006) have described the need for more qualitative research studies investigating how interactions among people, policies, and places impact implementation. Additionally, many studies focus on the implementation process from the lens of the administrator. This study adds the voices of parents and teachers in order to provide a more comprehensive view of the dual language implementation process from the perspective of key stakeholders directly impacted.

This qualitative case study investigated how various administrators, teachers, and parents interacted with each other, their environment, and the dual language policy during the first year of implementation at a suburban elementary school. Through surveys, interviews, and observations, this study analyzes how these interactions impacted program implementation.

Findings in this study suggest implementation is uniquely based on each individual community and the interactions between that place and the policy. Moreover, the success of a policy depends on the people and their interactions with the policy in order to create systems to sustain and maintain the program. This study highlights key factors supporting and hindering dual language program implementation during the first year and uncovers significant shifts in the status of language and culture as a result of program implementation efforts.

This study provides a helpful consideration of factors for those interested in implementing dual language programs in a deliberate and sustainable manner.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Favela, Alejandra
Commitee: Feldman, Sue, Smith, Greg
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Foreign language education
Keywords: Bilingual education, Dual language, Dual language policy, Dual language program implementation, Dual language programs
Publication Number: 3742199
ISBN: 978-1-339-34713-4
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