Examining Dual-Language as a Tool for Equity Through an Adaptive Leadership Lens
Huffman, Lance C.
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CitationHuffman, Lance C. 2020. Examining Dual-Language as a Tool for Equity Through an Adaptive Leadership Lens. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThis capstone outlines my strategic project on advancing the work of opening a dual-language school, beginning at the elementary level, in Bellingham Public Schools. The school district currently has a well-defined support program for English-language learners, the largest number of whom are Spanish speakers. However, while dual-language models have been shown to support academic development for all students as well as the English development of second-language students, Bellingham does not currently have such a model in place. I sought first to understand the history of ELL and dual-language in Bellingham Public Schools to best comprehend the potential barriers to opening a two-way dual-language school soon. Three immediate concerns posed potential barriers to opening a dual-language school in the district: 1) resource and staffing allocation, 2) the history of neighborhood schools that could be disrupted if a new school model was adopted, and most critically, 3) questions of equity and equitable access to such a program.
This capstone describes the strategies and tactics I used to lead a team during the first phase of Bellingham’s dual language planning, as well as the theoretical frameworks that informed my leadership (Moore, 1995; Heifetz & Linsky, 2017). Our goal was to explore the viability of the program in the context of this district, and advocate for a model most likely to succeed here. The team designed and made initial proposals for a school that would consider the above challenges while adhering to the values, beliefs, mission, and vision of the Bellingham Public Schools. As a result of this work, continued structured discussions are scheduled to happen with a wider stakeholder group, the leaders of the elementary schools, and their communities. Given the nature of how change is led and managed in Bellingham, executive endorsement for continued planning and strategic discussions marks a significant step towards opening a dual-language school in an upcoming school year.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364864