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Abstract

This paper describes an ongoing Professional Development (PD) program that aimed to prepare teacher-leaders for rural English learner (EL) students. We delineate the theoretical underpinnings of the PD design and describe the two-year graduate coursework program with onsite coaching in rural schools in detail. We define rurality and the context of ELs in the rural partner school district and describe the PD coursework, which was adapted to meet the local rural educational needs of the participants. At its outset, participants reflected on the overall PD through online discussions, surveys, and focus group interviews. Data revealed that the participants found the program to be highly engaging and transformative to their work with ELs and building a deeper understanding of immigration and equity for ELs. Our results highlight teachers’ responses to illustrate the impact of the PD project to build rural teacher-leaders of EL students.

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