ERIC Number: EJ1002360
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
The "Generous Heart": Teachers and Immigrants in the 21st Century
Singh, Sukhmani; Suarez-Orozco, Marcelo M.
Teacher Education and Practice, v25 n4 p585-588 Fall 2012
Immigrants are a fast-growing segment of the United States population. Presently, some 39.9 million immigrants call America home (Passel & Cohn, 2012; U.S. Census Bureau, 2011b). Today, immigrants come from all over the world, but most new Americans originate in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. It is because of the mass migration of the two last generations that many states--including Hawaii (77.1% minority), the District of Columbia (64.7% minority), California (60.3% minority), New Mexico (59.8% minority), and Texas (55.2% minority)--are now "majority/minority" (U.S. Census, 2011a). The significant increase in the immigrant-origin population is a visible reality throughout schools, where 23.7% of all children are the children of immigrants (Migration Policy Institute, 2011). The data point to a future of growing diversity in the American classroom: As of July 1, 2011, 50.4% of the littlest Americans--those under age 1--were minorities. Immigration's echo, the children of immigrants, make the United States one of the few countries where immigration is both history and destiny. To be a teacher in 21st-century America means teaching immigrant students. In this article, the authors stress that if the heart of education is to develop an engaged, flourishing citizenry who is ready to partake in this globalized world, then teachers should first become aware of who their charges are. The children in today's schools originate from all over the world, from all socioeconomic strata of society, and contend with negotiating multiple cultural rules of engagement. Teachers today need to prepare all their students to function in a world that is evermore interconnected, miniaturized, and fragile. The rewards to teachers can be priceless.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Demography, Immigrants, Immigration, Teacher Education, Teacher Education Programs, Cultural Differences, Family School Relationship, Family Environment, Cultural Awareness, Undocumented Immigrants, Teacher Role, English (Second Language), Limited English Speaking, English Language Learners
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; California; District of Columbia; Hawaii; New Mexico; Texas; United States