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Accepted Paper:

The Possibilities and Limitations of Binational Virtual Professionals Development: Schooling the Students That Mexico and the United States Share  
Edmund Hamann (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) Theresa Catalano (University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA)) Victor Zúñiga (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León)

Paper short abstract:

This paper describes and reflects upon a series of virtual binational professional development efforts intended to help Mexican educators become more ready to support the 500,000+ students in Mexican schools who were born in the US and/or had school experience there before coming to Mexico.

Paper long abstract:

Two of the three paper authors helped pioneer the study of these students in Mexico, visiting schools and using surveys 20 years ago (and since) to show that migration between Mexico and the United States was not just South to North (i.e., Mexico to the US) and included school-age children. The third author, an applied linguist, has studied language education for immigrant newcomers in a number of countries as well as ways the transnationally mobile describe their migration and education experiences and how both relate to their senses of nationality and affiliation with their host society. While the three of us have collaborated for research and occasional teacher professional development for more than a decade, COVID-19 has moved a lot of educator professional development on line and thus has eased participation by presenters who are geographically disbursed. Using hierarchies of knowing articulated by psychological anthropologists Melvin Spiro (1977) and Ray D’Andrade (1991), this paper first outlines what Mexican educators need to know to welcome and help transnationally mobile students succeed in their classrooms. Then it describes a number of virtual professional development seminars organized by state departments of education in three Mexican states before ultimately scrutinizing their design to consider how much of the needed ‘teacher procedural knowledge’ can be developed through Zoom sessions. Digital technology enabled distance education raises exciting possibilities for bringing expertise to Mexican educators, but it is better suited to raising awareness about the need for changed praxis than for precipitating actual, coherent, thoughtful change.


Transnational Youth, Schooling, Teacher Professional Development, Mexico, United States

Panel P26b
Education and Mobility Today: Integrating Digital and Visual Technology with Physical Learning
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -