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Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Abstract

This qualitative case study describes a two-year, multi-pronged university-urban school district partnership in Massachusetts sponsored by former Governor Deval Patrick’s Gateways Cities agenda to support an innovative middle school summer enrichment academy for emergent bilingual (EB) learners. The partnership between Boston University and Malden Public Schools aimed at improving EB student success through a whole-child, inclusive, community-arts- infused, content-based curriculum with field trips, guest speakers, conversation classes with bilingual university graduate students, and performing arts, fitness and wellness workshops; a comprehensive teacher training/coaching model; and parent education and community engagement experiences. This chapter examines the impact of the whole-child, community-arts- infused curriculum on middle school EB student learning. Results from interviews, pre-and post- assessments, and observations indicate that the curricular approach boosted learner confidence and engagement; enhanced linguistic and socioemotional development and promoted intercultural awareness and positive cultural identity for attending EBs.

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