Project Title:
Education and Literacies Across the Generations

Project Description:
Formal and informal educational contexts are often the most important site for linguistic and cultural contact, and where new arrivals learn what it means to ‘be American’, to ‘be Midwestern’ and to ‘do school’ in the U.S. At the same time, the large influx of new arrivals to this region is dramatically changing how schools and classrooms function. This cluster examines the educational experiences of the Midwest’s newest arrivals across multiple physical, virtual, and hybrid spaces - in schools, at home, and in religious and secular community centers.

Research central to this cluster examines the mechanisms and outcomes of this contact, and take up questions such as:
  • How are transnational and refugee immigrant students using multilingual resources to navigate their new terrains, and author and narrate their own experiences?
  • How do formal schooling experiences shape language and literacy practices at home and across generations?
  • How and to what extent do recent arrivals they find resources and engage in informal learning through digital technologies, including the Internet?
  • What is the nature of interaction and learning across newer and later arrival refugees in these settings, and how do resettled immigrant youth and adults in the region understand and make sense of shifting demographics?

With additional funding, this research collaborative will extend work on existing research projects at the UMN-TC to further define research questions and collaborative and comparative research projects across sites. Outcomes of this work might include:
  • Thematic special issues in leading journals in the field (e.g., Journal of Language, Identity and Education)
  • Several special sessions at major conferences (e.g., American Anthropological Association, American Educational Research Association, American Association of Applied Linguistics)
  • A public policy overview and recommendations in collaboration with non-governmental organization (e.g., Minnesota Minority Education Project, MPI

Organizer Name:
Erika Lee, Director of the Immigration History Research Center

Organizer's Contact Information:

Organizer's Departmental and University Affiliation:
Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota