Professor extols immigrant narrative as an education tool
December 20, 2012
Copyright, Steve Hambuchen
Sara Exposito, assistant professor of education, explains in a new publication how she prepares teachers to work with immigrant students and families. Appearing in Teacher Education and Practice, her article demonstrates how studying narrative can help teachers gain an authentic understanding of students’ cultural, linguistic, and personal experiences.
“Narrative is a particularly powerful tool when learning about immigration because it demystifies beliefs and opinions and provides teacher candidates with the human side often missing in the larger immigrant discourse,” Exposito writes. “It has been my experience that once students’ and parents’ stories are told, educators are profoundly changed by what immigrant families will teach them.”
Exposito has worked as a teacher, consultant, and professor in education for more than 20 years. Co-director of the ESOL Endorsement for the M.A.T. program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Exposito has developed methods to help teachers connect with—and tailor instruction to—students adjusting to the U.S. education system.
In describing how she prepares Lewis & Clark teacher education students to be effective educators, Exposito contends that storytelling is a vital step in learning to be an advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse students.
“By engaging in the story and becoming a positive force within, new teachers can create a better future for their students and learn valuable lessons about life,” she writes.
Exposito’s article, “The Power of Immigrant Narrative,” was published this month in Teacher Education and Practice.
Blue Lassiter CAS ’15 contributed to this story.