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Critical Education






Teach For America (TFA) places novice teachers, referred to as corps members, in several regions across the United States that have among the highest English learner populations in the nation. In light of this fact, we offer an examination of federal policy and recommend programmatic strategies to better prepare TFA corps members to serve English learners. First, we describe the current Elementary and Secondary Education Act amendment that allows TFA corps members to be considered highly qualified without adequate training to work with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Next, we analyze the organizational curriculum and teacher preparation approach specific to English learners. We then compare TFA’s approach to those used in emerging residency models and community-based programs that prepare teachers for specific local contexts and student populations. We conclude with recommendations for TFA to improve its teaching corps for English learners and other culturally and linguistically diverse students.


Author Posting. © Hopkins and Heineke, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of the authors for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Critical Education, Volume 4, Issue 12, November 2013.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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